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Apple Pulls Taiwanese Flag Emoji From iPhones in Hong Kong

The Taiwanese flag, seen in the U.S. version of iOS, top, is missing in the Hong Kong iOS emoji keyboard, bottom.
The Taiwanese flag, seen in the U.S. version of iOS, top, is missing in the Hong Kong iOS emoji keyboard, bottom.

Source: iOS

Apple Inc. removed the Taiwanese flag emoji from some iPhones, underscoring the difficult balance the company must strike in supporting free speech while appeasing China.

The change was implemented via software on iPhones sold in Hong Kong and Macau. After Apple released new versions of its iOS 13 operating system in recent days, users in those cities noticed that the Taiwanese flag option was no longer available on the emoji keyboard. Local websites, including Hiraku in Taiwan, reported the move earlier.