Joining Apple, Amazon’s China cloud service bows to censors

“Days after Apple yanked anti-censorship tools off its app store in China, another major American technology company is moving to implement the country’s tough restrictions on online content,” Paul Mozur reports for The New York Times.

“A Chinese company that operates Amazon’s cloud-computing and online services business there said on Tuesday that it told local customers to cease using any software that would allow Chinese to circumvent the country’s extensive system of internet blocks. The company, called Beijing Sinnet Technology and operator of the American company’s Amazon Web Services operations in China, sent one round of emails to customers on Friday and another on Monday,” Mozur reports. “‘If users don’t comply with the guidance, the offered services and their websites can be shut down,’ said a woman surnamed Wang who answered a Sinnet service hotline. ‘We the operators also check routinely if any of our users use these softwares or store illegal content.'”

“The emails are the latest sign of a widening push by China’s government to block access to software that gets over the Great Firewall,” Mozur reports. “The move came at roughly the same time that Apple said it took down a number of apps from its China app store that help users vault the Great Firewall. Those apps helped users connect to the rest of the internet world using technology called virtual private networks, or VPNs. Taken together, the recent moves by Apple and Amazon show how Beijing is increasingly forcing America’s biggest tech companies to play by Chinese rules if they want to maintain access to the market. Analysts say the government has been more aggressive in pressuring companies to make concessions following the passage of a new cybersecurity law, which went into effect June 1, and ahead of a sensitive Communist Party conclave set for late autumn.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Why does the Communist Party of China so fear free expression?

When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. — Thomas Jefferson

There are two sides to Apple’s China story – July 31, 2017
Apple issues statement regarding removal of VPN apps from China App Store – July 31, 2017
Apple removes VPN apps from China App Store – July 29, 2017
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


  1. My fear is then the good ol government of the USA is going to use this as leverage against USA companys in the future….

    “Look you did it for them…you can do it for us…”

    I really wonder what Steve Jobs would have done…I would like to think he would have handled it differently than Cook.

    1. Steve Jobs is the one who put the company in this position by moving at least 95% of final assembly for Apple devices and the majority of component manufacture to a single country. Google could pull out of the Chinese market easily because it didn’t make much money there. Apple makes almost all of its money in ways that have a China connection.

      People keep saying that Apple and Amazon should stand up to China by refusing to comply with Chinese law. The only way to do that is to follow Google and stop doing business there. Because so many of Apple’s eggs are in that single basket, withdrawing from China might bankrupt the company. That is not Tim Cook’s fault.

      I note that the same people who are condemning Apple management for going along with Chinese social policy are the loudest to condemn Apple for any involvement in US social policy. The difference, of course, is that Apple management has a reasonable hope of marshaling the public to successfully influence American policy-makers; marshaling public opinion in China will land you in prison.

  2. With their natural resources and the incredible work ethic of the Chinese, if they ever dumped communism for free market and free thought, they truly would conquer the world.

    1. …a modest comparison to China’s vast population, but look what little Japan, Taiwan and South Korea have done for themselves and their standard of living. If China ever threw away Mao’s “Little Red Book” for Smith’s “The Wealth Of Nations”, they wouldn’t need to steal ideas and technology from the West, they would create their own.

      1. I’m curious what you consider ‘little’ about Japan, Taiwan and South Korea have done for themselves and their standard of living. Perhaps you’re using a scale of only a decade or two?

Reader Feedback

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