Apple Caved to China, Just Like Almost Every Other Tech Giant
Posted in: Censorship at 03/08/2017 14:04
Apple recently removed some of the virtual private networks from the App Store in China, making it harder for users there to get around internet censorship. Amazon has capitulated to China's censors as well; The New York Times reported this week that the company's China cloud service instructed local customers to stop using software to circumvent that country's censorship apparatus. While caving to China's demands prompts a vocal backlash, for anyone who follows US tech companies in China it was anything but surprising. Apple and Amazon have simply joined the ranks of companies that abandon so-called Western values in order to access the huge Chinese market.
Doing business in China requires playing by Chinese rules, and American tech companies have a long history of complying with Chinese censorship. Every time a new compromise comes to light, indignation briefly flares up in the press and on social media. Then, it’s back to business as usual. This isn’t even the first time Apple has complied with Chinese censors. Earlier this year, the company removed New York Times apps from its Chinese store, following a request from Chinese authorities. "We would obviously rather not remove apps, but like we do in other countries we follow the law wherever do we business," Apple CEO Tim Cook said during Tuesday's earnings call, in response to the vanished VPN apps.