Breakfast Briefing: 5 things for PR pros to know on Thursday morning

IPG CEO Michael Roth is "concerned" about China; Why is Apple removing some apps from Chinese App Store?

Following criticism from state media outlet China Daily, Apple removed the HKmap.live app from the App Store. The paper accused the company of facilitating illegal behavior through the app, which allows Hong Kong activists to report police movements. Apple said in a statement that the app was removed for violating local law and Apple guidelines because it was "used to target and ambush police" and "threaten public safety." HKmap.live tweeted its disagreement of these claims on Thursday morning. Side note: China is critical to Apple’s business.

Apple also removed the Quartz news app from its Chinese App Store. The publication received a notice from Apple that its app "includes content that is illegal in China," referring to its ongoing coverage of the Hong Kong protests. Quartz’s entire website has also been blocked from being accessed in mainland China. The publication’s newly minted CEO Zach Seward said in a statement, "We abhor this kind of government censorship of the internet." He added that Quartz has "great coverage" of how to get around such bans around the world. (The Verge)

What’s the latest with the NBA/China situation?  Thursday’s exhibition game between the Lakers and Brooklyn Nets did not get canceled, but the Chinese government mandated that members of the teams and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver cannot conduct news conferences in conjunction with the game. Meanwhile, eight U.S. lawmakers co-signed a bipartisan letter urging the NBA to suspend its activities in China until the country’s boycott of the league and the Houston Rockets ceases. And at Wednesday’s Wizards game, protesters handed out T-shirts in support of Hong Kong. Some fans supporting Hong Kong are getting kicked out of games and having signs confiscated.

Interpublic Group CEO Michael Roth is "concerned" about China. Nationalism and protectionism are a worry, he told PRWeek sister publication Campaign, hinting at a repositioning of investment in the world's second-largest economy. Read the full Q&A here.

Energy drink G Fuel’s newest flavor? Swedish meatball. Don’t worry, it’s a joke (we hope) from PewDiePie. The YouTuber, who has been sponsored by G Fuel since early 2019, revealed the new flavor in a video on his Twitter page Wednesday. The video garnered 1.2 million views, 8,000 retweets and 108,000 likes. Early Thursday, G Fuel tweeted the video, along with a link where people can signup to have early access to PewDiePie flavor G Fuel. Scotty Tidwell, G Fuel’s chief community officer, also joined the conversation on Twitter. PewDiePie, real name Felix Kjellberg, has lost sponsors in recent years due to anti-Semitic jokes. However, he is YouTube’s highest earner.

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