MTR is accused of plagiarising a feature from Hong Kong start-up app Pokeguide on its own MTR Mobile navegation app.
Released on September 7, the new fast-exit function within the MTR Mobile app tells you exactly where to board your train so you can most conveniently head to your required exit upon exiting the train. The MTR app also shows passengers to different platforms, facilities and shops, but that function is only available for Admiralty station for now.
Pokeguide, which launched in 2015 and claims to be “the best navigation app for Hong Kong MTR/Taipei MRT passengers”, posted on its Facebook page late last night accusing MTR of plagiarising.
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“We met MTR executives three to four times last year, and had no idea they would release the exact same function,” reads the post.
Pokeguide's post continues to say they had proposed to share their location data of different carriages and doors as long as MTR gives them credit. “Why did they spend tens of millions dollars to develop the same function?” Pokeguide's post asks.
The startup urged their followers on Facebook to tag MTR in hopes of getting an explanation.
On behalf of MTR, Annie Leung, the general manager of its customer experience development, also took it to Facebook around noon today.
“We began noticing somehing like the fast exit function for New York subways in 2013, and have since noticed Hong Kong apps - including Pokeguide - featuring similar functions … and we’ve had suggestions on what types of technology our app could use to build a navigation system for within stations since 2015,” writes Annie.
She confirms MTR had met with Pokeguide and other start-ups in hopes of a collaboration, but MTR decided it would work on its own.