Apple stock hit a new all-time high Friday amid U.S.-China trade optimism, a day after a leaked memo from CEO Tim Cook explained his decision to remove an app from the App Store after complaints from China.
Shares in the tech giant reached $234.60 in morning trading, up 2% for the day. The surge has catapulted the company to a market capitalization of more than $1 trillion, a plateau it briefly reached in 2018. Microsoft also has a market cap of $1 trillion.
Apple has been in the news throughout the week after the company was criticized by a Chinese government news outlet for distributing an app called HKmap.live in its App Store. China said the app was capable of pointing out the location of local police, enabling protesters in Hong Kong to attack them.
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Cook said Apple decided to pull the app after consulting with local law enforcement officials and concluding the app had played a role in ambushes of police.
“Over the past several days we received credible information, from the Hong Kong Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau, as well as from users in Hong Kong, that the app was being used maliciously to target individual officers for violence and to victimize individuals and property where no police are present,” Cook wrote in the memo, which was obtained by Bloomberg and other media outlets.
“These decisions are never easy, and it is harder still to discuss these topics during moments of furious public debate,” the executive added. “National and international debates will outlive us all, and, while important, they do not govern the facts. In this case, we thoroughly reviewed them, and we believe this decision best protects our users.”
Apple is among several U.S. companies and entities to be caught up in the ongoing protests in Hong Kong, among them Viacom, Google, Activision Blizzard and the National Basketball Association. Doing business in China, though it can be lucrative, often entails a degree of compromise on core U.S. values.