“Most people old enough to have watched the 1984 Super Bowl will not remember the two American football teams that played in it,” Tom Mitchell writes for The Financial Times. “They will probably remember ‘The Commercial.'”

“During a break in the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII, as the Los Angeles Raiders were running up the score on the Washington Redskins, CBS broadcast an Apple advertisement for its new Macintosh computer,” Mitchell writes. “Titled ‘1984’ in honour of George Orwell’s novel of the same name, it is today regarded as one of the best television commercials of all time. It is also sadly ironic in light of recent events in China, where Apple has decided to aid and abet Big Brother.”

“Last week, Apple confirmed it had pulled the New York Times’ app from its online store in China, where the newspaper’s website has been blocked by censors since 2012,” Mitchell writes. “The Chinese government’s leverage over Apple is enormous. But so is Apple’s leverage over the Chinese government, should it be brave — and wise — enough to use it. At a time when Beijing is simultaneously attempting to spur slowing economic growth and halt capital outflows, it badly needs foreign investment and the jobs it creates.”

“It may well be that Apple quietly fought the good fight before yielding to the authorities’ demand to pull an app that was allegedly ‘in violation of local regulations.’ But in confirming the decision, Apple could have at least specified what regulations the New York Times’ app had supposedly violated,” Mitchell writes. “It did not and the lack of transparency surrounding the affair has only added to the Orwellian nature of Apple’s surrender.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Scathing.

This must be especially mortifying to a CEO with a bust of RFK on his desk signifying that he’s a recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights’ 2015 “Ripple of Hope Award” which is given to those “who have demonstrated a commitment to social change” and who reflect “Robert Kennedy’s passion for equality, justice, and basic human rights.”

Apple removes New York Times apps from App Store in China at behest of Chinese government – January 4, 2017
Apple CEO Cook accepts Ripple of Hope Award; says RFK’s spirit lives on at Apple – December 9, 2015