“Apple Inc.’s Tim Cook and Google’s Sundar Pichai made their first appearances at China’s World Internet Conference,” David Ramli reports for Bloomberg News. “[China’s World Internet Conference is] a gathering the Chinese government uses to promote its strategy of tight controls online.”

“Apple’s chief executive officer gave a surprise keynote at the opening ceremony on Sunday, calling for future internet and AI technologies to be infused with privacy, security and humanity,” Ramli reports. “The same day, one of China’s most-senior officials called for more aggressive government involvement online to combat terrorism and criminals. Wang Huning, one of seven men on China’s top decision-making body, even called for a global response team to go well beyond its borders… ‘The theme of this conference — developing a digital economy for openness and shared benefits — is a vision we at Apple share,’ Cook said. ‘We are proud to have worked alongside many of our partners in China to help build a community that will join a common future in cyberspace.'”

“Cook’s comments come at a pivotal point for the company’s future in China, which is now its biggest market outside of North America. It relies on the sale of hardware and services in the world’s most populous country to propel revenue and profit growth. But the efforts required to stay in China’s good graces are causing tensions with civil libertarians and politicians at home” Ramli reports. “Apple has come under fire for cooperating with Chinese authorities in removing apps that give users there uncensored communications. In November, Apple complied with government orders to pull Microsoft Corp.’s Skype phone and video service from the Chinese version of its popular app store.”

 
Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The tightrope that Apple CEO (and sometimes acrobat/contortionist) Tim Cook, newly-minted recipient of the Newseum’s 2017 Free Expression Award, tries to walk in China is so thin it’s invisible.

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