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.

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