Apple CEO Cook in China: Internet must have security, humanity

“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.”

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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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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
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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
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Apple removes New York Times apps from App Store in China at behest of Chinese government – January 4, 2017
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Apple to set up second R&D center in China – October 12, 2016
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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. Cook is doing his best to run a multi-national company with the bulk of its product manufacturing located in China. Just what would you have him do??

      Cook has long advocated for personal privacy and security and other foundational aspects of democracy, such as free speech. As long as Apple is a player in China, then the company and its CEO has some degree of influence.

      I suspect that some of the same people who attacked Cook and Apple about standing up to the U,S, government and defending iPhone encryption are the same ones who are now attacking Apple and Cook for not standing up more strongly against the Chinese government.

    2. Tim Cook promises nothing while kowtowing to his Chinese masters. How can Tim Cook even suggest that he or Apple are concerned about human rights and dignity as he obeys the demands of Chinese government repression and oppression? You have no credibility, Timmy.

    3. Mongo,
      Name a country which does not have laws, or does not expect people to obey them

      China has odious laws, but if you want to be there, you must either obey them or face the consequences.

  1. I think China’s internet policies shows how fearful the chicoms are of their people. They are even afraid of the “contaminated” people of Hong Cong. China’s economy only took off after they dropped Mao’s Iron Rice Bowl policy.

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