“Last week, Apple’s iBooks Store and iTunes Movies were shut down in China, just six months after they were started there,” Paul Mozur and Jane Perlez report for The New York Times. “Initially, Apple apparently had the government’s approval to introduce the services. But then a regulator, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, asserted its authority and demanded the closings, according to two people who spoke on the condition of anonymity.”

“The about-face is startling, given Apple’s record in China. Unlike many other American tech companies, Apple has succeeded in introducing several new products — like its mobile payments system Apple Pay — in China recently. New resistance from the Chinese government to that expansion could potentially hurt the Cupertino, Calif., company,” Mozur and Perlez report. “China’s pushback against Apple shows that the company may finally be vulnerable to the heightened scrutiny that other American tech companies have faced in recent years. That scrutiny was spurred by revelations from the former United States National Security Agency contractor Edward J. Snowden in 2013 of the use of American companies to conduct cyberespionage for Washington.”

“After the shutdown of Apple’s services, President Xi Jinping of China, who has led a crackdown on Western ideology, conducted a meeting on Tuesday in Beijing on China’s restrictive Internet policies… ‘China must improve management of cyberspace and work to ensure high-quality content with positive voices creating a healthy, positive culture that is a force for good,’ a report by the state-run news service Xinhua quoted Mr. Xi as saying,” Mozur and Perlez report. “There have been some signs of trouble ahead. Mr. Xi has presided over a deep freeze on the Internet, increasing censorship and taking aim at online tools used to circumvent China’s system of online filters, known as the Great Firewall. He has also added new policy tools to keep tabs on electronic communications.”

“The two Apple services that Chinese regulators shut down, iTunes Movies and the iBooks Store, compete directly with Chinese Internet companies’ products,” Mozur and Perlez report. “That push may eventually trickle down to other Apple services. Apple Pay, for example, competes with mobile payments systems from some of China’s largest Internet companies: Alibaba and Tencent. In the longer term, China’s tough line on foreign tech companies like Apple could have heavy consequences for the Chinese economy, [Daniel H. Rosen, founding partner of Rhodium Group, a New-York based advisory firm specializing in the Chinese economy] said. ‘As surely as the tremendous welfare gains for China and its people from deepening links to global tech production, disassembling those connections is likely to entail a heavy economic loss,’ he said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The Chinese totalitarians should never forget that Apple products need not be assembled in China.

Every dictatorship has ultimately strangled in the web of repression it wove for its people, making mistakes that could not be corrected because criticism was prohibited. — Robert F. Kennedy

A word to the unwise.
Torch every book.
Char every page.
Burn every word to ash.
Ideas are incombustible.
And therein lies your real fear.

   — Ellen Hopkins

It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and injustice. — Robert F. Kennedy

Apple has always had the discipline to make the bold decision to walk away. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, March 2015

China shutters Apple’s online book and movie services – April 22, 2016
Apple CEO Tim Cook joins Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights’ board of directors – April 6, 2016