Apple’s dangerous market grab in China; new data center could threaten to disrupt the free flow of information over the internet

“Apple announced last week that it will open a data center in Guizhou, China. This is a first-of-its-kind action by a major United States tech company since the passage last month of strict new Chinese digital commerce regulations that require foreign companies with operations in China to store users’ data in the country,” Dipayan Ghosh writes for The New York Times. “These events could threaten to disrupt the free flow of information over the internet.”

“China’s claim that the regulation is meant to enhance individual privacy rights is a facade. The government wants to quell international competition by raising the barrier to entry for outside players. In turn, China hopes to monopolize the market for technology services for its huge domestic consumer market,” Ghosh writes. “China’s [data] localization efforts are hugely problematic for two main reasons. First, localization is a tremendously expensive exercise for companies that deal in data, so much so that only the world’s richest firms can afford it. Second, a history of snooping by Chinese entities means not only that firms should be wary of the potential for industrial espionage, but also that the Chinese people should be worried about their right to privacy, because the Chinese government may now be able to gain access to their data whenever it desires.”

“In the world of privacy, there are two threats: corporations and government. This regulation will create a system by which firms will try to serve China’s regulators as efficiently as they can. The firms that rise to the top in such a system will necessarily have to be close to the Chinese government,” Ghosh writes. “Why, then, was Apple so quick to announce the new Guizhou data center, in effect signaling its compliance with the aggressive new rules? It’s simple: Apple hopes to protect its market share in China.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As if China ever had “free flow of information over the internet.”

Apple sets up China data center to meet new cybersecurity rules – July 12, 2017


  1. Considering the totalitarian spying that the NSA is carrying out, whatever Chinese are doing is relatively small. Besides business reasons they do not like their citizens being under NSA’s surveillance through sweeping secret court orders that are not even allowed to me made public. So yes, it totally makes sense for Apple to build its data centres in China, and it is reasonable from China to demand that.

    The care for “free flow of information” by the NYT is a facade as this newspaper has never cared about any actual freedoms in the first place. NYT is a tool of oligarchy that only uses this concept for its neocon propaganda views on the world, where they support absolutely every illegal regime change war, every regime change coup like they did with Iraq, Honduras, Libya, Ukraine, Syria in just recent years.

      1. Great twist, botvinnik! Fake news about the New York Times.

        The company has two classes of stock, Class A and Class B. The Sulzburger family controls all of the Class B stock, which in turn controls the company by electing 70% of the board of directors. So, the family still controls—“owns” in any meaningful sense—the paper, as it has since 1896.

        The remaining 30% of the NYT board is elected by the Class A shareholders. That class has been publicly traded since 1969. As of the most recent figures I could find, Carlos Slim holds 16.8% of the Class A shares. That is enough to elect a director or two, but not even remotely enough to control the company.

        As I said, “NYT owned by Carlos Slim” = “Fake News”

          1. And even if Slim were the majority shareholder (again, he is not), that does not make him the “owner.” Assuming that the majority ownership included a majority of the voting rights, that person would have *control* over the corporation. But he would still share ownership with the other shareholders. That is the very definition of a corporation, botty. You allegedly have a doctorate…use it.

        1. Liar, Liar, pants on fire! Slim is the largest single stockholder, but he does not hold a majority of even the Class A shares.

          The Sulzburgers own 90% of the Class B shares. Slim owns roughly 17% of the Class A shares. That means that he owns more equity in the company than anybody else, but he does not own a majority. More to the point, he does not have control of the paper, which is still in the hands of the Class B shareholders.

          The Class A shareholders, even taken as a class including the owners of the other 83% of the stock, control only a portion of the board, and therefore do not control the company.

          17% is not a majority for Carlos Slim, any more than 46% is a majority for Donald Trump. Your math skills need some work.

          Actually, I think your mathematics are fine. It’s your character for truthfulness that needs some work.

            1. Botty,

              Now you’re just embarrassing yourself. You’re trying to make a distinction where there is none.

              Carlos Slim is neither THE majority stockholder nor does he hold a majority of the stock of the company. Carlos Slim is the largest stockholder of the Class A stock (as far as I can tell from the public records to which I have access). He does have a very significant impact on who sits on the board, and if he desires to exercise it, an impact on the editorial direction of the company. However, he is not THE majority stockholder. That is NOT fact. To be declared THE majority stockholder he’d have to own a majority of the stock, which he does not. By your twisted definition Steve Jobs was “the majority stockholder” in Disney. He was not, and your twisted definition is not accurate either.

              But, if you said, “Carlos Slim is the largest, major stockholder of the company.”, you’d be correct. The distinction is major (pun intended).

              Oh, and even real, majority stockholders do NOT “own” the company. Even if he owned 50.1% of ALL the stock (all classes included) he does not “own” the company. There are a LOT of minority shareholder rules (especially, but not solely, for public companies) that protect the rights and desires of those minority shareholders.

              Unless the real, majority shareholder has a clear super majority (the percentage requirement for that varies from U.S. state to U.S. state, and some put that super majority as high as having more than 75% of the total issued stock of all classes) then the minority shareholders are guaranteed to have significant say in how a company is run. Even then, dealing with minority stockholders makes super majority owners sit up and pay attention (and, I speak from personal experience as someone who owns a super majority of a company with international dealings).

            2. nevertheless, Slim remains the single largest stockholder of the New York Times. I would ask you the same question: why would a Mexican billionaire invest in a failing US newspaper?

            3. …further:
              “Every time someone gets a phone through Lifeline, a government program that gives phones to low-income Americans, TracPhone, a company in which Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim has a controlling stake, nets $10, Fox News reports. The company’s CEO, Frederick “F.J.” Pollak, who is a major Obama donor, also makes a profit from the data plans and minutes beneficiaries of the Lifeline program buy.”

            4. botty adopts Trump tactics:

              1) Declare victory in defeat even when you were completely wrong (e.g., “nevertheless, Slim remains the single largest stockholder…)

              2) Rapidly divert to a new topic (your new question)

              Your new question has nothing to do with this forum or the topic of this article. Go somewhere else for your political jollies.

              Now I remember why I ditched MDN for the past few months. It is still full of this lame political bullcrap even though Fwhatever seems to have disappeared. And I forgot how simple it is to slap botty around with basic facts and logic, despite his magnificent alleged doctorate and genius IQ. It is so simple that it is boring and highly unrewarding.

              Good bye for a long while…

            5. Just dropping in to see how this political site is going! Not surprisingly, botty is in the middle of another losing argument.

              Per Investopedia, a majority shareholder is a “…person or entity that owns more than 50% of a company’s outstanding shares.” Therefore, Carlos Slim is *not* the majority stock holder of the New York Times and you are full of crap, as usual.

              Grow up, botty. Learn to gracefully admit that you are wrong and move on.

  2. >>”Could”<<, wtf is it with taking liberties on blind speculative articles these days? Man buns, piercings, I'm predicting bullsh*t news and man boobs will be commonplace in 15 years. The feminization of men(smh) and the sensationalism of gossip as legit news.

  3. Dipayan Ghosh, a fellow with the Public Interest Technology initiative at New America, is an over educated idealistic idiot.

    Despite NSA concerns, US and Chinese citizens have more freedom today than they had during the 1950’s and 1960’s, or don’t you remember McCarthy’s Committee on UnAmerican Activity’s communist witch hunts, or Mao’s Cultural Revolution?

    If you don’t want your thoughts/activities known to others move someplace 40 – 50 miles away from your nearest neighbor, forego any and all public contact, utilities and commerce.

    Every time you log onto the internet, use your credit/debit card, access public utilities, fill out an application requiring your Social Security number, take on debt, you have opened the door to other’s seeking information about YOU.

    Getting excited about a data center is akin to barking at the moon or chasing windmills.

  4. simple fact is that the USA govt. which owes hundreds of billions $ to China hasn’t and won’t help any USA company in China and they will thus have to fend for themselves (like Apple).

  5. “but also that the Chinese people should be worried about their right to privacy”
    Chinese people have a right to privacy?
    And this is . . . Apple’s fault?

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.