Apple’s battle with China offers a stark reminder of geopolitical risks

“Even high-flying technology companies cannot avoid geopolitical risks,” Mark Y. Rosenberg writes for Quartz. “This was proved by Apple’s recent (and apparently unanticipated) run-in with Chinese authorities—including the sudden shutdown of iTunes Movies and iBooks in China.”

“No matter how popular their products or how ‘borderless’ their services, technology’s brave new world will increasingly clash with the older realm of borders and governments,” Rosenberg writes. “As a result, both financial and physical costs will increase for tech companies and their customers.”

“As software giants like Google and Facebook have already found out, China’s ‘Great Firewall’ is hard to surmount,” Rosenberg writes. “And then there are Apple’s well-publicized conflicts with both the Chinese and US governments over iPhone encryption. ”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Business and political models that fly in the face of human nature are doomed to failure.

Apple is moving with human nature. Humans seek privacy. Privacy is a human right. Humans seek freedom of speech, thought, and expression. These, too, are human rights.

China’s government is fighting against the tide of human nature on these fronts. Apple is flowing with it; indeed, helping to propel it.

In the end, Apple’s ideas will win and China’s government’s will lose. Those who try to thwart human nature are doomed to failure.

Apple’s Tim Cook to visit China for high-level government meetings later this month – May 6, 2016
Apple CEO Cook ‘pretty confident’ of soon resuming movie and book sales in China – May 3, 2016
Apple’s biggest China problem: iPhone’s strong encryption – May 2, 2016
The New Yorker: What Apple has to fear from China – April 30, 2016
Why Carl Icahn is wrong about Apple and China – April 29, 2016
Carl Icahn out of Apple over worries about China’s ‘dictatorship’ government – April 29, 2016
Apple stock falls as Carl Icahn dumps all of his shares – April 29, 2016
Carl Icahn dumps all of his Apple shares; stock drops – April 28, 2016
Apple reports earnings miss in Q216 – April 26, 2016
China could slam door on Apple, says top global risk expert – April 25, 2016
China’s increasing censorship hits Apple, but Apple might punch back – April 22, 2016
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


  1. Just how long is everyone expecting the “bandit regime” to hold out? Could be a long time as long as they successfully tie nationalism to the health of the Communist Party. With the cult of personality being built around Xi Jinping, with the recent crackdowns on human right lawyers, NGOs and the press, China appears to be retreating from its former path of progress. Tim better be working to get those manufacturing plants and associated infrastructure up and running in Brazil and India.

  2. The FoxConn announcement might me a ‘shot over the bow’ to China that they could leave at any time to a country with similar population. It also tells India that they can get the jobs too if they play ball with the iPhone.

    India and China may both have to battle it out for iCar production.

  3. China, and the Xi Jinping government, really shot themselves in the foot with this one. Especially with Vietnam and other countries starting to take business away from China. Apple is a very high profile company and the world is taking note on this one.

    The real question is, does the Chines government even care?

    1. The Chinese government officials only care about protecting their positions in the totalitarian state. You can’t give the citizens too much freedom or they may find ways to create a free state.

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