Apple CEO Cook kissed the ring in China because he had no choice

“Tim Cook is desperate to hold onto any remaining scraps of the China market. That’s a boon for the country’s model for the internet, and the local players who dominate,” Tim Culpan writes for Bloomberg Gadfly. “The Apple Inc. CEO, who last year stood up to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, took to the stage at China’s annual internet conference this past weekend to kiss the ring and give his seal of approval for the way the government there tightly controls the flow of information.”

The theme of this conference — developing a digital economy for openness and shared benefits — is a vision we at Apple share. 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. — Apple CEO Tim Cook

“I wasn’t at the speech, but footage does not show Cook’s tongue in his cheek. It’s irrelevant whether he believes the words that he spoke. What matters is that landing major overseas CEOs — including Google’s Sundar Pichai and Cisco Systems Inc.’s Chuck Robbins — not only gave legitimacy to authorities, but sent a signal to domestic rivals that their turf is safe,” Culpan writes. “Apple derives almost 60 percent of its revenue from outside its home country, including close to 20 percent from China.
That’s why it’s so notable that the chief of a U.S. devices maker agreed to deliver a keynote speech at a Chinese internet conference: Information may be restricted, but hardware still roams free. For now.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Like we said, Cook, the recipient of the Newseum’s 2017 Free Expression Award, is trying to walk a line so fine that it doesn’t exist. It’s an impossible act to pull off.

Apple CEO Cook in China: Internet must have security, humanity – December 4, 2017
Apple CEO Cook to attend state-run internet conference in China – December 2, 2017
Skype vanishes from Apple’s App Store, other app stores in China – November 21, 2017
U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and Patrick Leahy blast Apple CEO Tim Cook for removing VPN apps from App Store in China – October 20, 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. Cute quote. Where were you when millions were/are being killed by your country on your behalf on a pack of lies. All those phony war in Vietnam,Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libyia…..the list goes on and on. Now soon we will see fire and fury against the North Koreans again. Oh that doesn’t count, you say. What counts is Tim Cooks business in China.

  1. Tim Cook, the recipient of the Newseum’s 2017 Free Expression Award, is accomplishing next to nothing in China.

    Much like Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize for just getting elected a couple months in office it shows you two stark truths:

    1) You don’t need to do anything except to show up to receive high profile feel good awards.

    2) Conservatives need not apply.

    Hey TXuser, what exactly do you want Cook to do in China?

    Several days later you still cannot answer the question …

    1. I can answer the question and did so several days ago. You just didn’t like the answer.

      Tim Cook and Apple should—and by all indications are—applying as much pressure as they can behind the scenes to convince the Chinese that it is in their own best interest to open up their communications networks. When Apple can, it should apply public pressure obliquely—as Cook did in his speech—to praise openness and criticize censorship without directly confronting the Chinese leadership.

      Why not? Because they are (1) Chinese, (2) Communists, and (3) totalitarians. Their instinctive response to direct criticism is to save face by doubling down. Their next response is to hit back. They are not alone among world leaders in this. Direct Apple criticism will make the situation within China worse, not better.

      If making a statement that damaged freedom in China were not already a bad idea, there is the additional factor that Apple is in a horrible bargaining position. That is not Tim Cook’s fault. He did not make the decision to assemble almost all of Apple’s products in China using mostly Chinese-manufactured components. It is also not his fault that no other country currently has the industrial base and trained labor force necessary to replace China without pricing Apple products completely out of the market. Even if there were, it would take years to replace the Chinese contractors.

      So with a single email, China can destroy the company. They know it. Apple knows it. You should know it. This is not just about losing some profits but about the existence of the company that Tim Cook has a fiduciary duty to preserve.

      So I want Tim Cook to be doing just what he is doing. I’m sorry if I wasn’t clear enough about that before.

      1. Well-said!
        It would be great if Apple secretly is building factories in other countries, so that Apple can get out of China and not have abide by any of their rules.

      2. Clear, detailed and fair enough.

        President Trump and Cook are both walking the same tightrope. It continues to be a missed opportunity for SJW Cook to work together since it seems many goals are the same …

        1. Good, keep him honest.

          As we have noticed consistently he presumes a lot, often interprets posts wrongly and projects his belief system while putting words in other people’s mouths.

          I’m amused at his famous setups usually involving so you believe or don’t believe in a feeble attempt to trigger an immediate response and either disprove or approve a negative. That dog don’t hunt …

  2. Since Apple produces most of it products in China and China now represents its largest future market, it probably makes sense to respect the local government. Unless it has a plan to move the manufacturing of about 100 million iPhones to West Virginia and Ohio overnight.

  3. Click bait. I am very tired of the extremist viewpoints. Cook did not kiss anyone’s ring, and his statements were consistent with Apple’s laudable corporate policies. Neither Apple nor Cook can unilaterally change communist China. But, over time, they can apply a subtle influence to gradually change the policies of that country.

    1. are coming from liberal-driveler; Bloomberg. B-berg has a curious animus towards Apple and I have no explanation for it.
      Though TC has a challenging plank to walk, his own verbiage sets him/Apple up to be duplicitous and, or contradictory. Talking nice to the Chi-coms about security is like letting a wolf near the hen house…at least at this juncture.
      What’s already contradictory and frustrating is TC’s unwillingness to walk a considered line w/ all his US customers. He’s very willing to voice his ideals, disregarding that many American customers, probably a much greater percentage than China’s 20%, don’t have the same idealogical position. In both situations, Mr. Cook needs to remember, his personal opinions should remain outside of Apple’s sphere.

      1. …speaking of “national policies” where’s that NATO money your deadbeat country owes the American taxpayer for defending you hosers all these years? The bill is 2% of your GDP, Canada is LAST, Poland is first in their obligation.

        1. The 2 percent standard is just a guideline, not a legally binding requirement.
          At a NATO leaders meeting in Wales agree to the 2 percent standard, and even then they urged members to “move toward” that goal by 2024, still seven years away.

          The 2% of the GDP goes to NATO, not the taxpayers of your nation.

          Poland ranks 5th in it’s obligation for 2016, it’s your country that is first.

          Canada is not last, Luxembourg is (0.44%) for 2016.

          Only 5 out of 28 members of NATO pay their dues.

          Your nation hasn’t been defending the hosers for all these years, NATO has.

          This is all regurgitation, you’ve asked before I’ve answered before but keep whining, looks like it’s your patriotic duty.

    2. Apple doesn’t want to change China’s oppressive and repressive policies, Apple just wants access to Chinese workers. Apple likes to pretend it’s all about human rights and dignity, but it’s really all about profits over principles.

  4. What a lot of fun, right from the start. The original headline reads “Cook Kisses the Ring” while the headline here reads “Apple CEO Cook kissed the ring in China because he had no choice”.

    No choice like he was forced to take a plane to China and taken by force to kiss it cause he had no choice. What bias.

    The article kicks off well “Tim Cook is desperate to hold onto any remaining scraps of the China market.” It’s probably the way those from Apple’s home country pseudo-think. Those scraps are from the world’s second largest economy but heck for those so filled with themselves from Apple’s home country anything but their nation is scrap.

    While there is no law preventing Apple from doing business in China and Apple respects the local laws, regulations and sovereignty of China it is well known that Apple’s home nation has no respect for the sovereignty of others.

    Apple’s home nation, signatory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (note Article 5: Article 5. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment), is trying to walk a line so fine that it doesn’t exist. It’s a possible act to pull off thanks to those from the free and civilized world.

    China may be a scum communist country, but then again, so is Apple’s home nation.

    Tim is doing a great job if he can run Apple’s business around the world.

      1. With all due respect Journo I still disagree.

        MDN’s Headline: “Apple CEO Cook kissed the ring in China because he had no choice”

        Headline from the link MDN provided: “Cook Kisses the Ring”

        Headline from your link: “Apple, Google CEOs Bring Star Power as China Touts Control ”

        Inside that article is a the comment “Apple CEO Cook kissed the ring in China because he had no choice: Gadfly” is also a link within that article that links back to the article that MDN is using and that has the headline “Cook Kisses the Ring”.

          1. The headline of your link from your article is “Apple, Google CEOs Bring Star Power as China Touts Control”.

            You can argue all you want but John Smith agrees with me and makes the suggestion that you check your link and as he points out your quote is nowhere near the headline, rather planted in the article.

  5. Apple has done a lot in China to improve workers conditions at the factories that make their devices.
    There is clearly still a lot to do but definitely better in those factories than most in China.

  6. If Cook was smart he would quietly move much of Apple’s assembly work out of China over the next few years. Where? How about Mexico? Yes, it would take time and money, but Apple has to many apples in one basket.

  7. So many sanctimonious comments from Americans unaware that their own country resembles Russia more and more everyday, with rich oligarchs in charge of supposedly democratic lawmakers.

  8. Tim Culpan writes “major overseas CEOs — including (Tim Cook), Google’s Sundar Pichai and Cisco Systems Inc.’s Chuck Robbins — …gave legitimacy to authorities..”
    Ridiculous…that battle was won decades ago and they don’t need Apple, Google or Cisco’s approval and never have.
    Even with such an un_level playing field, there is still money to be made in China. Apple knows it and China knows they know how it works.
    I doubt there is anyone more capable anywhere, than TC at juggling face_palms, pratfalls and imminent disasters whilst walking the high wire. Period.

  9. Total BS.

    What happened is simply this:
    China dangled CHEAP LABOR in front of businesses outside of China and it became a competitive requirement to join the bleating crowd. ‘Baa! Baa!’ 🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑

    And the world will regret feeding China: Criminal Nation forever onward…. 👹

Reader Feedback

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