Apple removes VPN apps from China App Store

“We received notification from Apple today, July 29, 2017, at roughly 04:00 GMT, that the ExpressVPN iOS app was removed from the China App Store,” ExpressVPN reports. “Our preliminary research indicates that all major VPN apps for iOS have been removed.”

ExpressVPN writes on the company’s blog:

Users in China accessing a different territory’s App Store (i.e. they have indicated their billing address to be outside of China) are not impacted; they can download the iOS app and continue to receive updates as before.

While Apple’s decision is surprising and unfortunate, it does not change ExpressVPN’s commitment to keeping you securely and reliably connected. Our support team stands ready 24/7, including via live chat, to help any impacted users.

We’re disappointed in this development, as it represents the most drastic measure the Chinese government has taken to block the use of VPNs to date, and we are troubled to see Apple aiding China’s censorship efforts. ExpressVPN strongly condemns these measures, which threaten free speech and civil liberties.

Users in China can continue to stay connected to the open internet with ExpressVPN’s apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and other platforms.

Our commitment to an open and free internet remains stronger than ever, and we will continue the fight in helping our users to stay connected, no matter where they are located.

Full blog post here.

“An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment about the removals, which appear to affect only users in Apple’s China app store — generally those who have indicated a billing address in mainland China,” Paul Mozur reports for The New York Times.

“The removals signal a new push by China to control the internet. In the past, the Great Firewall has used technology to disrupt VPNs, and Beijing has shut down Chinese VPNs and even aimed a huge cyberattack at a well-known foreign site hosting code that circumvented the filters,” Mozur reports. “While internet crackdowns often peak every five years, ahead of a key Chinese Communist Party congress, this year’s efforts cover fresh ground, a likely indication that stricter controls of things like VPNs will persist after the congress this autumn.”

“Greater China is Apple’s largest market outside the United States. That has left the company more vulnerable than almost any other American technology firm to a Chinese campaign to ween itself off foreign technology and tighten control over foreign tech companies operating there,” Mozur reports. “In response, Apple has made a number of moves to ensure that it stays on Beijing’s good side. Last year, the company complied with what it said was a request from the Chinese authorities to remove from its China app store news apps created by The New York Times.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: China is critical for Apple in every way from sales to product assembly, so Apple continues to kowtow to China.

With Apple’s strong stance – in other places of the world – on users’ rights and privacy, it’s a bad look for the company and a tough tightrope that Tim Cook is trying to walk.

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

The Internet treats censorship as a malfunction and routes around it. — John Perry Barlow

FYI, as we’re located in the U.S., we use TunnelBear’s VPN service for our Macs, iPhones, and iPads (especially while using public Wi-Fi) which lets you choose from servers located around the world in 20+ countries. TunnelBear offers unlimited data for less than $4.17/month. Importantly, TunnelBear explicitly states, “No logging. TunnelBear does NOT log any activity of users connected to our service. Period.”

Apple sets up China data center to meet new cybersecurity rules – July 12, 2017
Analyst: China iPhone sales are pivotal for Apple – June 26, 2017
In bid to improve censorship, China to summon Apple execs to discuss stricter App Store oversight – April 20, 2017
Will Apple CEO Tim Cook stand up to China over App Store censorship? – April 19, 2017
Beijing cyber regulators to summon Apple over live streaming apps – April 19, 2017
Apple goes on charm offensive in China with red iPhones and a visit by CEO Tim Cook – March 24, 2017
Apple CEO Tim Cook defends globalization, walks tightrope on privacy in rare public speech in China – March 18, 2017
Apple to spend $507 million to set up two more research centers, boost investment in in China – March 17, 2017
Apple removes New York Times apps from App Store in China at behest of Chinese government – January 4, 2017
China dethrones U.S. to become the largest market in the world for iOS App Store revenue – October 20, 2016
Apple to set up second R&D center in China – October 12, 2016
Apple’s first R&D Center in China will develop hardware, employ 500 – September 29, 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
Carl Icahn out of Apple over worries about China’s ‘dictatorship’ government – April 29, 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

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


  1. IMHO, Jobs would never have approved of this. It evidence that Apple’s concern is money and market share rather than great products that empower people and democratize information. Jobs often spoke of this. He was willing to make premium products for premium customers even if it meant being a niche company if Apple could unleashed the productivity and creativity of people. He wasn’t about the money or market share but unleashing people’s powerful creativity. More evidence of how much leadership matters. Sad day for Apple. Sad day for the internet. Sad day for freedom.

    1. Let’s deal with reality here for a moment, just as Apple management does every day. The company does business in over a hundred countries, each of which has laws and a legal system that has unique features. Apple is not exempt from those laws.

      If it does not like the laws (or proposed laws), it can try to change them. That is why they devote resources to lobbying. Apple’s priorities are very simple: to support the free flow of ideas, goods, services, money, and personnel across state and national borders.

      If Apple cannot change the law, there are only two remaining choices: it can hold its corporate nose and obey the law, or it can refuse to obey the law and accept the consequences of civil disobedience. Why do you think Martin Luther King was in Birmingham Jail?

      In this particular case, the foreseeable consequences of disobedience to Chinese law would likely be the expulsion of Apple and its contracted operations from the country, as well as a ban on the sale of Apple products in China. That would have a devastating impact on the company, which management has a fiduciary duty to avoid if at all possible.

      As for what Steve would do, who do you think made the decision to put so many eggs in the China basket in the first place? He clearly understood the risks and what steps might be necessary to mitigate future damage. I really do not think he would smash the company to protect VPN apps.

      I don’t like the optics or the morality of this, either, but reality is real, man.

      1. Upcoming problem: Australia mandating backdoors in all encryption software.

        That’s not going to just hurt Australia. That’s going to hurt THE WORLD.

        Do human rights trump the financial game?

        That’s a core query of our age.

        You know my opinion.

        1. Correct!

          The next BIG test for think different Apple. If they CAPITULATE again, it is the end of Apple as an independent free thinking groundbreaking company …

          1. Meanwhile, not quite coincidentally, China AND Russia are banning VPNs. Hide diversity! Break dissidence! Monoculture the minds. This is why I point out that Totalitarianism = FAILure. They are inseparable. Failure is for learning. These scum learn nothing from their failure until it throws them over the brink. ‘Oh, now we get it’. *CRASH* . . . Human history déja vu all over again.

            1. Keep trying …. meanwhile in that swamp that is tRump….

              keep trying bottwipe… it’s so cute.. you sitting there… tiny one in hand….

              I think I can, I think I can…..

      2. “In this particular case, the foreseeable consequences of disobedience to Chinese law would likely be the expulsion of Apple and its contracted operations from the country, as well as a ban on the sale of Apple products in China. That would have a devastating impact on the company, which management has at fiduciary duty to avoid if at all possible.”

        In this particular case Apple has shown its true colors to the whole world. The only “duty” left after Steve is to make money at ALL COSTS.

        There, I fixed it for you tedious and carefully articulate Apple APOLOGIST …

      3. I’m simply saying that Steve had a greater sense of how his products could “put a dent in the world” and that was a driving force for how he ran Apple. I’m saying Cook is driven more by his concern for market share and money.

        Cook took a hard stance against then Governor Mike Pense when Indiana passed its freedom of religion law. It’s not my point to agree or disagree with him or the Indiana legislature. Rather, I simply point out that while Cook was boldly standing for civil rights when it would cost him and Apple nothing, yet he is silent as the grave when the basic rights of freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of information are being squashed. Not only His he silent but aids and abets China. Why? Because it could cost Apple dearly.

        Would Jobs handle this the same way? Sadly, we’ll never know. But I believe with the power of Steve’s ability to change how people think and act and his inability to compromise his convictions he would not have gone silently into the night and simply caved to China as it appears Cook did.

        1. but he tended to shy away from interactions and confrontations with the government. I don’t believe that he would have attempted to “face down” China on this issue, even though he, just like Cook, would not have approved.

          The victory is in the fact that Apple products are facilitating the free exchange of ideas every single day that they are in the hands of Chinese citizens. They can get VPN apps from other regional App Stores. And the underground resistance in China can and will find other ways to bypass the restrictions imposed by the communist government. It is very difficult to stop the flow of information over the radio frequencies, after all. The same systems that make Big Brother possible can also be used to counter Big Brother.

          The fact that Apple has gained a decent foothold in China is, in itself, amazing. The removal of these VPN apps is similar to the removal of certain books from iBooks or movies from iTunes. Apple is doing as little as it can to assuage the Chinese government while staying in the mainland China game. That is good for Apple and good for the Chinese people who want greater individual freedom, and that makes it good for the rest of the world, too.

          There may come a point at which Apple reaches a threshold that cannot be broken – for instance, the operating system backdoor that the U.S. and Australian governments have promoted. That will be a very tense situation if/when China joins in on that misguided agenda. And the U.S. will have led the way. Sad…

      4. “Apple’s priorities are very simple: to support the free flow of ideas, goods, services, money, and personnel across state and national borders.”


        Under Tim Cook, Apple’s priority is becoming the biggest (in market cap) and most lucrative company possible. PERIOD. Nothing else really matters.

        IF (at truly monstrously huge IF) Apple can promote personal freedoms along the way, all the better. BUT (and just as huge a BUT) the financials of the company come first. Under Tim Cook and his immediate staff, this will always be the case.

        Finally, to what law do you keep referring? What law has been passed in China that outlaws any form of VPN? I haven’t heard of any, let alone been shown one. It is all a quiet, backroom push by the Chinese government to crackdown on the free flow of ideas they may not like. Apple is caving in before it must just to keep the Chinese government happy.

        You seem to forget a time when the OFFICIAL Chinese government line was that no organization within the Chinese government could by Apple products. Apple didn’t wipe out a full swath of capabilities in order to change that. Apple worked with the Chinese government to reverse the decision. That truly was an official act that could have hurt Apple’s revenues severely, Apple didn’t cave in. Apple worked the issue and still offered privacy when the deals were done.

        This time the just gave in without a fight just to maintain the financial bottom line.

      5. I see a lot of pontificating and bloviating from people without skin in the game. And I see people putting words in a dead man’s mouth. But TxUser appears to be just about the only rational person in this thread.

        Apple is doing what it has to do to survive in China. Better to survive and keep a foothold in that country than to issue an ultimatum to the dictatorship and find out just how quickly you can get kicked out. Besides, millions of Chinese citizens will still have access to those VPN apps from *other Apple Stores.* So the joke is on China’s leadership – Apple will still be promoting the free exchange of ideas within China even as the dictatorship thinks that it has achieved a victory of sorts.

        What good would it do to issue an ultimatum and have the Chinese government curtail the manufacturing of iPhones and other Apple devices? Live to fight another day.

        As for Australia, that is an entirely different issue. The Chinese situation is about removing certain apps from a specific regional app store. The Australian issue is about changing the design of the Mac OS and iOS to enable bypassing of the end-to-end encryption process. This is a fundamental issue, and I do not believe that Apple should or will give in to that pressure, should that bill ultimately become law in Australia. And please note that our own U.S. government has made similar noises about requiring a backdoor into computer operating systems “for national security and the safety of its citizens.” Australia is not alone in its attempted overreach.

        We are reaching a tipping point in the evolution of human society in which billions of individuals can be tracked 24/7 and their data aggregated, searched, and cross-referenced. Roughly 25 years after the advent of the public form of the internet, we have created the infrastructure that would support the actual implementation of Orwell’s 1984 dystopia. Indeed, we have already started down that path.

        So,I turn the mirror back to those chastising Apple. What are you doing to help ensure that governments serve the people rather than the converse? If you expect multinational corporations to fight this battle at the risk of their own economic viability, then the battle is already lost. Corporations can be part of the solution — or the problem. But the individual citizens are ultimately responsible in America, Australia, China, and everywhere else.

        1. New around here? You wouldn’t happen to a regular reader disguised as someone else. No matter.

          You guys are all wrong on what Apple has become. It took China balls to force Apple to capitulate to censorship demands. So all the lectures from liberal activist Cook are now rendered moot because he is now a shining example of hypocrisy and is owned by Wall St, stock holders, et al.

          I don’t know what Steve would have done in the same situation. But I could venture an accurate guess his response would have been much different, more public and vocal at least explaining himself. Unlike Timid Tim hiding behind his stock options with no comment.

          I do agree with you Apple installing back doors all in the holy name of security demanded by ONE liberal government in Australia is not good for anyone. Shutter your stores and pull out, stop selling to the Aussies and leave the continent to Samscum. I don’t want my security compromised or threatened by one country sticking its nose under the proverbial tent …

      1. Love it! You ripped Tim right where it counts!

        The only progressive lectures left in pipeline Tim are in favor of identity politics that pull the ALL Democrat candidate lever on Election Day.

        And he keeps his mouth shut when liberal principles COLLIDE with the BOTTOM LINE. What a joke …

      2. Koalche, botvinnik, GoeB (and others of your ilk), you are hypocrisy incarnate. Tim Cook has a fiduciary responsibility to the shareholders of Apple. I have seen all of you excoriating Cook when you felt he was putting principle about profit. Now you are advocating principle over profit.

        If anyone has zero credibility, it would be you. Even apart from your politics, you are deplorable.

        1. @Looks out! Your hypocrisy is showing!

          Been around here long?

          “I have seen all of you excoriating Cook when you felt he was putting principle about profit.”

          Principle “about profit” is fine when you don’t abandon other core rights issues over profit. THAT IS HYPOCRISY, got it?

          “Now you are advocating principle over profit.”

          Absolutely. You disagree? But unfortunately, Cook is following the masters of money and principles be damned …

        2. @Looks out! Your hypocrisy is showing!

          Been around here long?

          “I have seen all of you excoriating Cook when you felt he was putting principle about profit.”

          Principle “about profit” is fine when you don’t abandon other principle liberal rights issues over profit. THAT IS HYPOCRISY, got it?

          “Now you are advocating principle over profit.”

          Absolutely. You disagree? Unfortunately, Cook is following the masters of money and rights principles be damned. Now THAT, is truly deplorable …

    2. Well said!

      “Apple aiding China’s censorship efforts. ExpressVPN strongly condemns these measures, which threaten free speech and civil liberties.”

      I never thought I’d see the day when a gay, green energy, social activist CEO would capitulate to a communist regime simply to MAKE MORE CAPITALIST MONEY. NO DIFFERENT from all the greedy companies out there with no soul.

      The bloom is now off the Apple rose for ALL TIME and they are as embarrassing a greedy money profit machine mirroring the worst of the turn of the century coal and timber robber barons.

      Not really a surprise folks, long ago Clueless Cook as CEO has abandoned Steve’s mantra and sucked up to Wall Street and investors.

      Hey Liberals, you feel good about this revolting development?

      I’m hoping to hit a personal RECORD number of down votes, get cracking …

      1. When I woke up I had eight votes registering four out of five stars. Now I have 44 votes registering 1.5 stars.

        Don’t you just love the voters that are as pure as the driven snow?

        Yeah right …

        1. What do you fail to understand about MDN voting, GoeB? Are you claiming that the MDN voting process is somehow rigged or *fake*? Or are you just claiming that anyone who dares to down vote you must be in error or just out to get you?

          You and Trump can continue as long as you want with your meme on voting. But it just looks more pitiful each day that it continues. The majority of people just don’t like you and your ideas.

          Face it, many people on this forum find you and the content of your posts distasteful, biased, hypocritical, or just plain in error. Even with the automatic up votes that your little partisan crowd routinely contributes to each other (the far right circle jerk on this forum), you nearly always end up way, way down in the votes. That’s life, and your complaining about it just makes it worse.

          1. @Snow, pure, driven…

            Been around here long?

            Guess not. Another regular coward posing as someone else.

            Because you would remember how many times I have pointed out that the voting is MANIPULATED TO DOWN VOTE and intimidate supporters of President Trump and those critical of Cook’s Apple.

            You may want to sit down. I DON’T CARE! I merely point out how pathetic people actually believe rigged, and it it happened in our presidential election, it would be illegal.

            Run along now …

    3. Democratize information?
      Did you really say that? Tell that to anyone that wrote an iOS app and has nowhere else but though Apple to distribute it.

      I don’t agree with China’s policies either, but they are a sovereign nation. If Apple were sincere (enough), they can pull out….

  2. Jobs saw the computer as a tool that can unleash people’s powerful creativity and make the world a better place. “Those who are crazy enough to change the world are the ones that do.” Apple now spends millions of dollars on political advocacy and lobbyist. It seems they no longer believe their prod can change the world but their money can.

  3. VPN are encrypted and encryption is considered a weapon by the US government. Any encryption sold out of the US requires appropriate approval by the US government and indication to Apple you have the approval. If Apple did not pull the apps, China would probably be able to hit them for “weapons smuggling”. I have had to fill out the forms before.

    I’m not sure Steve Jobs would have a choice but to pull them. China would probably ban Apple from business there if they refused to pull them which would make assembling new phones hard.

    Crazy for sure.

    1. Bayou, I think your comments make a lot of sense. Not discounting them, I think your comments can be read in light of my OP. I admit that I’m responding more to the optics than substance since I have no way of knowing what discussions Apple and China had prior to the pulling of the apps. That said, Clearly China wants to be a major economic and political player. China cannot achieve this goal if major global corporations like Apple are willing to limit their business footprint in the country. Right or wrong, short term or long term, Apple’s decision appears to have more to do with expanding and/or not loosing business opportunities. Or, put differently, driven at some level by market share and finances. Obviously, even under Jobs Apple was concerned about being successful as a business. However, the opportunity to empower people to change the world for better played a significant role in their business model. IMHO, that has changed. Maybe incrementally changed, but none the less genuinely change and not for the better of the consumer, the quality of their products, or the betterment of the world. I spy our take. Insightful.

  4. Tim Cook never met a progressive movement he didn’t like but when it comes down to hard choices that might actually cost him money, well, that’s another story.

  5. Big impactful statement China cares naught about:


    Decent companies forced to bend to the will of totalitarian SCUM governments.

    D I S C U S T I N G

    Chinese citizens: REVOLT! Blame me! Blame Bullwinkle! Just REVOLT!

      1. So if the Trumpians haul out the torches and pitchforks to force everyone to join their totalitarian idiocracy, I should just cower and let them take away all my human rights as per their whim.

        Who’s a F*cking idiot? *tickle*
        Who’s a F*CKING idiot? *tickle*tickle*
        You’re a f*king idiot! Yes you are! *tickle*

        Bot: You’re living in the wrong country. What happened here in 1776?


  6. It seems to me that Apple producs are so popular, especially the iPhone, in China that people there would still clamor for its products perhaps leading to the same level of sales. In the process, it would maintain maximum morality and commitment to freedom of expression.

      1. It is very obvious the Liberals supporting Apple on this aggregious abandonment of truth, justice and the American way are IGNORANT when they should be appalled at what Apple has become without Steve.

        Just another capitalistic company that lost its soul to Wall Street … sad.

  7. Perhaps the stars are aligning with China’s increasing restrictions and Trump’s made in America push. Moving some manufacturing to the U.S. would send a strong message to China that their manufacturing jobs are put at risk (which represents a different but no less dangerous threat to the Communist Party) and it would placate Trump and many Americans. It would be good PR and messaging by all around.

            1. “Barack Obama – The national debt grew the most dollar-wise during President Obama’s two terms. He added $7.917 trillion, a 68 percent increase, in seven years.”

            2. Let’s see.. 2 unfunded wars… Bank melt down, housing melt down, auto industry melt down and you begrudge the Congress spending all that money so that you wouldn’t lose your underwater house. So that you could keep that shift work at 7-11. So that you could keep that health insurance for that black lung you might get since the mine shut down.

              Did you have some point to your stupid ejaculation?

              The national debt did grow to save America? You have a problem with that?

            3. No, I’m just living large in this great country. You are the one that is a pathetic, whiny, racist little bitch, sniveling and crying about that mean Black Man that Dared Be President.

            1. Haven’t had any in 30 years.

              My brain is my brain. At least I haven’t chosen to worship and incompetent, lying, racist, misogynistic, mean, etc, etc… sexual predator aa the second coming of the baby hands jesus.

              You on the other hand have chosen to surgically attach yourself to the anus of the above traitor and sexual predator. You my friend prove daily that you will open wide and accept load after load to validate your stupidity and racism.

  8. don’t really want to talk about Apple;s stand on this but just say that in most cases it’s the CITIZEN’S of a country who decide what they want. Don’t want internet censorship then FIGHT for it. It might be painful even dangerous but there you are…

    Corporations should be ethically responsible like in not throwing toxic waste into rivers or bribing officials to cover up but ‘social change’….? that’s not in most corporation’s articles of inception and probably beyond their powers (except in very limited ways)….. like you know there’re over a BILLION Chinese, they’ve got way more power to decide their own destiny (like internet access) than Apple. Jobs true idea was actually change the world by making Great Products, very little in direct social change, he didn’t even want to get involved in charities, Apple only matching staff contributions to charities so that management did not spend time THINKING about who to donate to i.e. about social issues (people flame me about this but I’m just reciting history).

    1. blah blah blah blah…you are throwing “toxic waste” into the most significant battle of mankind.

      “And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed.”
      ― John Steinbeck

      1. “the most significant battle of mankind” .. which is?

        How the FUCK do you know what the Chinese people want? Maybe the majority — many Chinese are conservative — want the internet to be censored from PORN etc? There are many deceptive websites in China (like there are even FAKE APPLE STORES), maybe the population WANT the govt. to police the internet? (Look even APPLE CENSORS PORN and MANY OTHER THINGS FROM ITS OWN APP STORE –also USA web providers AND THE LAW often ban pirated material — so few things are truly open ! )

        Which outsider really knows what the majority in china want ? You sure as hell don’t. I don’t really and I’VE SPENT 10 PLUS YEARS WORKING IN ASIA AND SPEAK CANTONESE and another asian language. Went to Asia last year and going again this year. How many years have you spent working with chinese people figuring them out?

        Again like I said if the Government of China is OPPRESSING it’s people from internet usage, if they people themselves are pissed , one BILLION of them can go fight it… not really the place for Apple because at the END how EFFECTIVE would Apple be? Not very. Just get a whomping big fine, have their app store blocked or even get kicked out of China because Apple is DISOBEYING LOCAL LAWs ? there’s also the question of arrogance of outsiders — like 200 year old country — trying to lecture a country with 4,000 year history how to run their own business… )

        As others have pointed out there are wide variety of thinking in world. Some countries think the USA is CRAZY CONSERVATIVE OVER SOCIAL ISSUES — like some parts of Europe MARRIED politicians openly flaunt mistresses which would not be accepted in USA. A billion plus people believe in POLYGAMY…. some people believe USA Should OPEN UP.

        Botninnik do you think FOREIGN LIBERAL countries should FORCE the USA to have public tax funded internet websites and other web facilities for the promotion and support of transgender, climate change etc issues (like you want Apple to interfere in China) ?

        I MIGHT NOT AGREE WITH SOME THINGS, Apple might not agree with them but there you go … like I said it’s up to the POPULATION there to decide. Corporations are supposed to have internal debates like in 100+ countries ? Unless it’s a COMPLETELY BLACK AND WHITE ISSUE (like TOXIC WASTE) NOT obeying local laws is crazy for corporations. (internet censorship IS NOT a black and white issue for much of the earth , HALF the world have censored internet especially for PORN, like I said even Apple censors porn… Many muslim countries BAN ISIS websites which might be a GOOD THING…. )

        You’ve always criticized Tim Cook’s social agendas in diversity etc.. so now you want Apple to get into such battles over thousand different things in a 100 countries?

        1. botty you say ‘crickets’ elsewhere, but I’m getting LOUD SILENCE from you here:

          like I said : “You’ve always criticized Tim Cook’s social agendas. . ” but you’re Criticizing cook here for NOT doing a social agenda

          So which is it? or are you BI POLAR?
          at least I’m consistent.

          (I note, in my thread you are not criticizing Cook for being INCONSISTENT but specifically for NOT DOING something in China. )

          you say you hate liberals yet here in my thread you are promoting a very liberal thing: social change (in a foreign country no less) and in context of practically zero USA concerns (so what happened to your hero Donald Trump’s America First isolationism ? ) huh ?

          Also you’ve not answered: if you think Apple should interfere with China’s internet use, do you think foreign Liberal social minded countries and companies should be allowed to interfere with USA’s internet like force the govt. to build tax payer funded websites for transgender issues, support for Paris Climate Change initiatives, etc which they have in their own countries ? huh?

          like I always said I’m not very political, I’m a centrist (my original post was Job’s historical focus on PRODUCTS) , but if you want to fight I can go all day. and night ..

          1. You wish! When verifiable truth surfaces, Botty runs off to start a fire somewhere else, followed by his gang of stupidity. It’s the signature behaviour of miserable cowards – Lie. Dissemble. Make noise. Regroup. Repeat.

      1. 10 “whole” grams?
        Fortunately you need a neutron reflector and 15,000 grams of U-235 to make it go boom!

        And why exactly do the Russians need uranium from us? Don’t they have their own? Might there be another reason?

        1. It was a sample predicated on the later 20% sale of US uranium, manipulated by a treasonous Secretary of State and President of the United States.

            1. See below for the reason. It was a small sample of stolen Russian uranium being returned for evidence analysis in connection with an international criminal case.

            2. The seizure occurred in 2006; the case was still pending in 2009. The facts are fully described in the WikiLeaks cable that you yourself referenced in your original posting on this issue. If it was lying about the facts, why did you cite it as evidence for your astonishing conspiracy theory?

      2. Spin… it was for a criminal investigation.

        “2. (S/NF) Background: Over two years ago Russia requested a
        ten-gram sample of highly enriched uranium (HEU) seized in
        early 2006 in Georgia during a nuclear smuggling sting
        operation involving one Russian national and several Georgian
        accomplices. The seized HEU was transferred to U.S. custody
        and is being held at a secure DOE facility. In response to
        the Russian request, the Georgian Government authorized the
        United States to share a sample of the material with the
        Russians for forensic analysis. Director Mueller previously
        planned to deliver the sample in April (Ref A), but due to a
        scheduling conflict the trip was canceled. Embassy Moscow
        LegAtt informed the FSB prior to Mueller’s intended April
        delivery and received confirmation that the FSB would take
        custody of the sample after the Director’s plane landed. EST
        Moscow also informed Rosatom of the planned transfer and that
        the U.S. placed a high priority on completing this transfer
        (Ref B). Once the LegAtt told FSB counterparts the April
        trip had
        been canceled, Ambassador Beyrle informed Igor Neverov (Ref
        C), who said that he understood but was disappointed the trip
        was postponed. The September 21 visit provides again an
        opportunity to deliver the requested ten-gram sample from the
        seized HEU in order to obtain cooperation from the GOR on
        this nuclear smuggling case and to eventually establish a
        more productive mechanism of U.S.-Russian cooperation on
        nuclear forensics. “

    1. botvinnik,

      Sorry I didn’t see your posting earlier. When I did, it took me about five minutes on the Internet to confirm that your spin on this story was, once again, something that might be called either fake news or simply a lie.

      In a well-publicized incident in 2006, a multinational sting apprehended a citizen of the Republic of Georgia who was trying to sell 100 grams of stolen Russian highly enriched uranium. Since Georgia, for both political and technical reasons, did not want to hang onto the fissionable evidence, it handed custody over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the US.

      Russia, understandably, wanted to know where the material came from, so that they could arrest the thieves and plug the hole in their nuclear security. To do so, they needed a sample for forensic analysis of the chemical and isotope content so they could compare it against their stored materials to determine which batch had been compromised.

      Keeping weapons-grade material off the market was obviously in everybody’s interest, so after negotiations, the United States and Georgia agreed to hand a 10-gram sample back to the Russians for analysis. Rather than send it by mail, it was decided in 2009 that the FBI Director (who had been appointed by President G.W. Bush and was holding over into the new administration) would personally deliver it to Moscow. That would preserve the chain of custody for possible prosecution of the thieves in any of the three countries involved.

      That isn’t just the media’s biased spin on the incident. All those facts are fully described in other paragraphs of the same Wikileaked diplomatic cable that you conveniently quoted only in part. You also ignored other facts: (1) The uranium in question did not belong to the United States; it was stolen Russian property recovered in Georgia. (2) Ten grams is about the weight of four US pennies, though 10 grams of uranium would be around the size of a single penny. (3) The naked-sphere critical mass of pure U-235 is 52 kilograms. Even more HEU would be needed, although an implosion weapon can get by with somewhat less. In other words, it would take thousands of samples the size of the Mueller delivery to build a single weapon. (4) Russia already has tons and tons of weapon-grade uranium and plutonium, so returning the 10 grams certainly didn’t affect the balance of terror.

      The only traitor in this story is the one who handed secret cables to WikiLeaks. He was likely working (either knowingly or ignorantly) for the Russian security services. As we all know, Russia was not backing Ms. Clinton in the last election, so the leaker’s treachery can hardly be attributed to her.

      As per usual, instead of responding to accurate stories about Mr. Trump, you respond with made-up news about Ms. Clinton. It may have escaped your notice that she left public office 4.5 years ago and isn’t even running for anything at the moment or for the foreseeable future. It is time for you and the President to drop your unhealthy obsession with the woman. Trying to divert attention from current federal employees to Ms. Clinton is a total red herring… even if this story were accurate, which it isn’t.

      1. “As we all know, Russia was not backing Ms. Clinton in the last election, so the leaker’s treachery can hardly be attributed to her.”

        an absolute lie.

        1. Sophists are those who use words purely as rhetorical weapons to sway opinion, rather than as tools for discovering the truth. I don’t care about your opinions. If you and your friends want to worship the Great God Trump, you are perfectly welcome.

          What I insist on, however, is that truth matters. What I object to, in the President and in his supporters, is that they make up “facts” to support their position and then dismiss the contravening evidence as “fake news.” That is sophistry, not my efforts to present the world as something that cannot be portrayed in 140-character bites with no relation to reality. If you want to tell porkies to the credulous, fine, but don’t expect a free ride for your misrepresentations.

            1. Sorry. I responded some time ago, but WordPress posted my reply as a top-level comment at the bottom of Page 2, rather than as a response under your post on Page 1.

    1. Are you actually asking us to believe that Steve Jobs (having initially set up the situation himself) would leave Apple’s second-most-lucrative market and shut down production of every one of their products except the Mac Pro for a couple of years just to avoid complying with Chinese law? With its cash reserves, Apple might survive the experience, but the stockholders would lose the better part of a trillion dollars in market value, sue management for violation of fiduciary responsibility, and quite possibly win.

      This is not just a question of standing up to censorship. It is a question of allowing the company to survive in a multinational environment where governments—and not just in avowedly authoritarian states like China but also in allegedly free countries like Australia, the UK, and the USA—are fighting secure encryption with all their considerable power.

      1. I’m simply saying that Steve had a greater sense of how his products could “put a dent in the world” and that was a driving force for how he ran Apple. I’m saying Cook is driven more by his concern for market share and money.

        Cook took a hard stance against then Governor Mike Pense when Indiana passed its freedom of religion law. It’s not my point to agree or disagree with him or the Indiana legislature. Rather, I simply point out that while Cook was boldly standing for civil rights when it would cost him and Apple nothing, yet he is silent as the grave when the basic rights of freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of information are being squashed. Not only His he silent but aids and abets China. Why? Because it could cost Apple dearly.

        Would Jobs handle this the same way? Sadly, we’ll never know. But I believe with the power of Steve’s ability to change how people think and act and his inability to compromise his convictions he would not have gone silently into the night and simply caved to China as it appears Cook did.

      2. And I’m saying that there is no hard evidence that Apple is not kicking back against the Chinese policy with every appropriate means at its disposal. Since China is not a democratic state, making public statements critical of The Party and The Leader is simply not an effective strategy to change their policy. Working directly and quietly behind the scenes is far more likely to get results than getting into a confrontation that could very nearly destroy the company.

        Given the influence of Apple’s stock price on the larger US markets, that would be a disaster for the global economy generally and for America specifically. China and Russia would be glad to pick up the pieces. Tim Cook might feel good about “boldly standing for civil rights” against China, but the effect on the international balance of freedom against authoritarianism would not be morally beneficial, or of any other benefit to the free world.

        Indiana, in contrast, has a republican form of government that is subject to influence by public opinion. Due to “government in the sunshine” laws, Apple’s lobbying efforts there are subject to public disclosure in any case. There is no reason not to make public statements in that context, and every reason to use them to influence public opinion. Votes in Indiana (unlike China) actually count, and elections have consequences.

        While you might disagree, Apple does not see policies like the “freedom of religion” law as costing them nothing. As I said earlier, Apple consistently favors the free movement of ideas, goods, money, and people across political boundaries. That is not just a philosophical preference, but something that benefits company operations. For a variety of historical reasons, Apple has a rather large number of LGBT employees. Again, you might disapprove of that, but it is a reality that the company must take into account.

        Apple management do not want to worry about issues like: (1) Can we move cash earned in Europe to America without losing a third of it to taxes? (2) Can we relocate a company project and its team from England to California without losing half the engineers to US visa regulations? (3) Can we protect our intellectual property not only in the US, but also in China? (4) If we transfer transgender employees from Cupertino to Austin, will they be able to use the bathroom in public buildings? Finally, (5) If we send a gay employee to Indiana, will he be able to obtain food and housing, or will it be denied under the pretext of “religious freedom” because of his sexual orientation?

        As I said, the question of VPN apps in China is just an early skirmish in a looming war about encryption. Apple needs to take the long view on this, employing strategy as well as tactics, and tactics rather than knee-jerk reaction to provocations. If they lose the war, all of us who love personal privacy and individual freedom will lose along with them.

  9. Did you even read the diplomatic cable from the State Department European Desk to the US Ambassador in Moscow that you yourself cited as evidence for the delivery? This is the link that you provided:

    Since the cable is the sole source for the story, you vouched for its credibility when you posted it above. I may be an idiot, but I can see that your question is expressly answered by the document itself. Here is a summary if you can’t be bothered to read the original:

    Paragraph 2 describes the original sting operation and how the seized material ended up in US custody.

    Paragraph 3 describes the efforts of the USG (United States Government) beginning in 2006 to get the Russians to come to America to pick up a sample for analysis. The evidence was being held in a secure Department of Energy facility, and the USG wanted the Russians to test it as evidence of their seriousness about tracing the origin of the stolen material. The Russians explained to the Bush Administration that the delay was due to an interagency dispute in Moscow about who should accept the sample. The issue dragged on past Inauguration Day into the next administration.

    Paragraph 4 then states that the FBI Director (appointed by Bush 43) decided to take the sample to Moscow personally to indicate that the USG was serious about the matter. The cable sets out his reasoning in some detail. This wasn’t spin for public consumption; the cable was classified as “secret.”

    Paragraph 5 sets out the mechanics of the transfer. It includes insistence that the sample will only be handed to an appropriate law enforcement agency, not to an intelligence service. The transfer was to occur planeside because the USG did not want to take responsibility for the safe and secure transportation of nuclear material within the Russian capital.

    Then comes the paragraph you quoted, telling the US Embassy in Moscow what it was expected to do in connection with the transfer.

    Paragraph 7 sets out the talking points for the clear message that the Embassy was to send Russia about our expectations regarding the analysis of the sample and subsequent action to prevent proliferation of nuclear material.

    Paragraph 8 is a heads-up to the Embassy in Tbilisi that they will need to notify the Government of Georgia once the transfer is complete.

    So, that is the answer to your question. I hope you have a good laugh at your own source material.

            1. That’s sad that the sum total of your life is to be so hateful, petty and pathetic that this is your legacy for really what was a good President.

              Do not put your stupidity on display and say otherwise. Sheesh, you just make yourself look like the pathetic clown you are. All of you tRump teabaggers are just so far out there that it’s not Uranus any more, it’s you sucking on tRumps anus.

              And even worse, watching the clown car shit show just rolling merrily along through the sewer and all you shitholes have is still but what about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton?
              What about President Barack Obama? What about this lie. What about that lie.

              tRump will not finish his term. Pence better not try to advance any one of tRumps fucked up agenda. He can be a caretaker. The republican party is about that useful. How’s that repeal and replace going for you? The “uneducated” fell for that line for 7 years, hook, line and sinker because they believed republican lies. Whine, snivel, cry about what that Man Black Man did. Sheesh and, get this, it was a bipartisan effort. Lots of republican amendments, input, questions…. but that’s an inconvenient truth. You don’t like the truth do you bottwipe?

              tRump and his supporters are scum. The fact that you still defend the traitorous pile of scat make you a special kind of scum.

              Keep telling your lies bottwipe. I know it helps you sleep at night.

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