U.S. Republican congress members admonish Apple for censoring songs in China that reference Tiananmen massacre, democracy

“Members of Congress are criticizing Apple for censoring its music to comply with the Chinese government,” Shannon Liao reports for The Verge. “Apple Music’s China service recently removed several Hong Kong singers from its platform, as reported by the Hong Kong Free Press.”

“‘It’s disgraceful to see one of America’s most innovative, influential tech companies support the Communist Chinese government’s aggressive censorship efforts within China as we near the Tiananmen Square Massacre’s 30th anniversary,’ Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) tells The Verge,” Liao reports. “Two of the censored singers, Denise Ho and Anthony Wong, are pro-democracy activists. The other singer, Jacky Cheung, released a song written by James Wong, who had confirmed that the lyrics referred to the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.”

“Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) admonished Apple on Wednesday for not taking the chance to ‘be a stronger voice for freedom around the globe.’ She also retweeted comments from an executive director at a human rights group that remembers the victims of communist regimes,” Liao reports. “‘Just the latest example of an American tech company choosing to be complicit in the Chinese Communist Party’s high-tech totalitarian state,’ the tweet read.”

“‘This news is extremely troubling. When reports like this surface we need to ask serious questions to ensure human rights are being protected, and if these reports are true, Apple owes the public an explanation,’ Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) said in a statement,” Liao reports. “‘American citizens value the First Amendment and the ability to speak freely – even on controversial topics,’ Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH) told The Verge today, ‘It’s deeply concerning that Apple, according to recent reports, would acquiesce to demands made by Chinese officials to censor pro-democracy music. We should expect better from these companies, and Apple should address these claims.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take:

• It’s about finding your values, and committing to them. It’s about finding your North Star. It’s about making choices. Some are easy. Some are hard. And some will make you question everything. — Tim Cook

• You don’t have to choose between doing good and doing well. It’s a false choice, today more than ever. — Tim Cook

• You want to be the pebble in the pond that creates the ripple for change. — Tim Cook

• There are times in all of our lives when a reliance on gut or intuition just seems more appropriate — when a particular course of action just feels right. And interestingly I’ve discovered it’s in facing life’s most important decisions that intuition seems the most indispensable to getting it right. — Tim Cook

• For us, the most important thing we can do is raise people up – that is, either by giving the ability to do things they could not otherwise do, allow them to create things they couldn’t otherwise create. It’s about giving them tools; it is about empowering people. — Tim Cook

• I don’t view Apple or myself as an activist. What we do is for some things where we think we have deep knowledge, or think we do, or a strong point of view, we’re not shy. We’ll stand up, speak out – even when our voice shakes. — Tim Cook

• The most important thing is, Do you have the courage to admit that you’re wrong? And do you change? The most important thing to me as a CEO is that we keep the courage. — Tim Cook

The Tiananmen Square/June Fourth Incident, 1989
The Tiananmen Square/June Fourth Incident, 1989

SEE ALSO:
Apple Music censors songs in China that reference Tiananmen massacre, democracy – April 9, 2019

58 Comments

      1. Lest we not forget and on the subject of human rights abuses…

        Donald Trump has said that torture “absolutely” works, and that he wants to bring back waterboarding “and a hell of a lot worse”. He recently promoted Gina Haspel – who oversaw the CIA’s shameful torture program after 9/11 – to the CIA Director, and signed an executive order to keep Guantanamo Bay open.

        Funny how MDN throws stones at it’s own (gl)ass house in total denial
        Shameful American Exceptionalism from MDN.
        #kakistocracy

        1. The article has nothing to do with our amazing first time politician president.

          The topic deflection ASIDE is Timid Tim is a total HYPOCITE.

          What part do you not understand?…

      2. You are exactly correct. What is even more sad is that the US is run by a conservative fool and hypocrite. And you know what? The results are no better for the red team. Go ahead, pick any objective economic indicators, most aren’t setting records under Trump as promised, some that are are paid for with debt and deferrals which are too complex for this blog.

        Maybe Americans should stop with the divisionism and elect honest representatives and leaders who work for citizens prosperity instead of the short term profits of corporations that don’t give a sh!t about national sovereignty or the health of their nominal home nations. The self serving corporate executive class and all its lackeys in DC, which includes both corrupt parties, are happy to destroy US future prosperity as long as they can walk away in a few years with a golden parachute and tens of millions in vested stocks.

        1. “Go ahead, pick any objective economic indicators, most aren’t setting records“

          Go ahead, IGNORE any objective economic record set during the Trump administration…

          1. The record debt that your kids will pay back with interest? Sure Goeb. Truly amazing how easy it is to fool some people all the time with debt financed goosing of the economy. I remember when Republicans actually cared about financial footing for the future.

  1. Ok, a comment: are these showboaters willing to go to jail in the place of the Apple employees who will go there if they break Chinese laws? How would they react if the “People’s Republic” started dictating which US laws people in the US should disobey?

    The only choice Apple has in any of the 100+ countries where it operates is to obey local laws or stop doing business. There are obviously some things worth losing the 65% or so of Apple income earned outside the USA, but is THIS really worth that?

    1. The flip-side to your “showboating” posture may be that it is INDEED expected companies will obey local laws for the Almighty (eventual) Dollar, but don’t came back here and lecture the US on how shitty we are (hello GOOGLE….) when you don’t mind living off blood money.

      As they say at China News Network, sometimes a diamond is just an Apple.

      1. So companies that do a global business should be punished by being stripped of their rights.

        Got it.

        Apple has the right to make their values known just like any other company and like all other companies, Apple acts in accordance with local law.

        It’s not a moral choice.

      1. Perhaps Senator Rubio could tell us the inspiring story about how his family remained in Cuba and stood up to Castro and his goons when it would have been easier to flee the country and move to Miami. He could trade stories with Senator Cruz, whose father also remained in Cuba to speak out boldly and fight for freedom when it would have been easier to move to Canada and marry a US citizen.

        Oh? That didn’t happen? Then why are they expecting Apple employees to do what their families avoided?

          1. Spoken like a true russian, GoeFuckYourself. You take every opportunity to be a partisan asshole because a divided nation is a weak nation.

            How much do they pay you to astroturf tech blogs with your fact free trump propaganda?That’s how the stupid partisans game is played now. Hiring shitheads like you to attack anyone who doesn’t worship one team, in your case the orange puppet currently sitting in maralgo.

            Thanks for polluting MDN with your incessant pro Trump propaganda Goeb. This republican ain’t buying it anymore. This is the most dysfunctional administration I have seen since Nixon debased the honor of the office.

    2. I hear what you say but there is another choice for Apple’s home country. You remember 911? The first one, you know where a democratically elected government was undermined by Apples’ home nation and replaced with a guy called Pinochet.

      That’s the alternative a bully nation has, to go into other countries just cause they don’t like them. Happened in Peru, Vietnam, and it’s currently happening in Iraq. Of course China, that’s a superpower and we know bullies rarely pick on someone their own size but it is an alternative that Apple’s home nation embraces, you know kind of being above the law.

    3. Everything you said is 100% true, correct, and honorable. Funny thing this sovereignty.

      Now I wish these US Congressmen addressed the censorship Apple imposes RIGHT HERE in the US!

    4. “The only choice Apple has in any of the 100+ countries where it operates is to obey local laws or stop doing business.”

      Exactly right. That said, not the point of the article you choose to ignore repeatedly. The point, and because you do not acknowledge does not mean it doesn’t exist, is Cook takes off the SJW uniform when it comes to China. Pay close attention, that means he is a TOTAL HYPOCRITE when it comes to China and the almighty dollar. What part do you NOT understand? 🤔

      “There are obviously some things worth losing the 65% or so of Apple income earned outside the USA, but is THIS really worth that?”

      I agree again, NO, it is not worth losing that amount of revenue. But what makes you think if Cook released one simple statement condemning censorship in China and following the laws at the same time would endanger Apple?

      What, will the Chinese government close down all the factories producing Apple goods, Apple stores and put close to million Chinese out of work. Never happen, Cook is paranoid, gutless and a hypocrite. He should call President Trump and get a shot of moxie how to do both.

      The game of chicken works both ways…

  2. I think these politicians are showboating. It’s an easy sound bite to get attention because Apple is involved and what better way than to “stand for freedom” and blame Apple while they don’t have to do anything other than criticize.

    They are all Republicans so then why don’t they urge Trump to do something and not let an American company be pushed around?

    Oh, right, because it’s China’s country, China’s laws and the Chinese government is “free” to do what they want. Including not let Apple do business there.

  3. If Apple can do business in it’s cowardly terrorist home nation that goes and commits acts against humanity in another country looking for a fictitious weapons of mass destruction program then they should be able to do business with China.

    1. “If Apple can do business in it’s cowardly terrorist home nation”

      Hey brainless, cowardly and terrorist are not the same. Terrorists are not cowards and often sacrifice their life in the act of terror.

      So let me educate the coward who is afraid to reply to me for years. USA is not a terrorist nation!!! The USA sacrificed thousands of lives and liberated the world in World War II.

      Did we not protect your cowardly nation? STFU already about your misguided and sick obsession. You need professional help, get well soon…

  4. It is what it is when you choose to dance with the devil. The future will show, if the past and present haven’t already, that American companies doing business in China, especially having their stuff made in China, will have lost much more than they gained. It is 100% certain that China will steal IP and build your widget under a Chinese brand and sell it for a fraction of the price you sell the authentic widget for. And this has always been so obvious but now there can be no doubt. So why do we keep doing this??? Because of short term gains that allow the bean counters to show lower costs, thus higher profits such that the CEO can collect his ridiculously grandiose bonus pay even though his actions will have long term consequences that ultimately affect the stock and American consumer not to mention American worker. But the CEOs could care less because by then, they will have been paid multi-million dollar salaries/bonuses and flown the coup via their golden parachute. These greedy behaviors are what has always caused capitalistic societies to eventually fail. If we don’t stop this corporate greed in America our capitalist economy will also fail. Read your history books folks and let’s make this chapter have a different ending!

  5. Bravo Tower Tone, not only nothing on the issue at hand but obviously so hung up on that weapons of mass destruction program that hasn’t been found you have to insult someone personally. Thank you so much for personally demonstrating the incapacity of your gutless nation to take responsibility and move on. Enjoy the quagmire, your country deserves it.

    1. Hah! Hilarious, you calling America gutless. Even funnier how you NEVER have anything to discuss except your fascination for anything the far-left tells you to believe.

      Insult someone personally? The ONLY reason you make comments is to insult everyone here who has an ounce of common sense. I insult one, you insult hundreds.

      Quagmire? Our main issue is too many people trying to come here. You REALLY are in your own little clueless world….

      1. It is hilarious indeed, I guess some would consider a country that invades another on imaginary pretenses and commits genocide, embraces torture to be heroic, but I’m not one of them, I think it’s a gutless cowardly nation that does so.

        It’s even funnier watching that big all capital never comment, that is so easily disproved.

        Apple CEO Cook: ‘We are devastated by the senseless violence overnight in Thousand Oaks’

        Maybe you are right that I insult others by insulting the country, it’s a far better thing than killing innocents like your country has been doing in Iraq for over a decade.

        I’ve heard about your country being full, maybe you can find some special places to stash your migrants, I believe that the Nazis were quite successful doing that with the Jews.

        1. Damn Road Warrior. Their minds can’t process complex thoughts like cause and effect and history and how it all fits together. Like when we overthrew the democratically elected government of Iran and put in the Shah.

          Apple cannot operate in the US breaking the law and they can’t in China.

          It’s binary.

          1. Spot on CitizenX. It makes sense that following the laws of other countries while you do business there is essential for success. No one is forcing Apple to do business in China or its home country, and no one is preventing them from doing business, that’s a good thing from my perspective.

            Have a good one and thanks for the feedback a while back, it was much appreciated.

          2. Aaaand here we have the crux of the problem for many libs.
            You throw around things like “democratically elected” with the implication “we bad, they good”.

            I’m not disputing the CIA’s involvement, but most people have very little knowledge of MOST of what happened because they enjoy the idea of us being bullies. Fine, live that way. Odd that you claim people on the Right don’t understand history when the left keeps trying to do Socialism over and over. Crazy, ain’t it??

            Here is a simple article to expand your understanding, there are many more but I doubt you are REALLY interested in what happened anymore than Road Warrior is about Iraq.

            https://nationalinterest.org/feature/six-myths-about-the-coup-against-irans-mossadegh-11173?page=0%2C1

            again, this is just some context that most people who study history and politics for the truth know. It doesn’t change who did what or why, but explains (in a simple way….) some facts I doubt you know.

            1. I said people on the right don’ think. Get it straight.
              You have no idea what i know about history. What I’ve learned and who I’ve learn it from. Thanks for the link to the opinion piece.

            2. “Their minds can’t process complex thoughts like cause and effect and history and how it all fits together. Like when we overthrew the democratically elected government of Iran and put in the Shah.”

              “You have no idea what i know about history”

              So well educated that you know this about all of us though.
              No I don’t know the specifics, but you say shit all the time like you did the Shah which is just political urban legends. Most people don’t even know what Nixon did but they will swear he was the most crooked President ever!! I’ll even make a broad statement like you did and state people like you and RW will believe in 20 years the Mueller Report was stonewalled by Barr just like y’all believe the Supreme Court gave the election to Bush rather than he won it, and that “hands up, don’t shoot” was real even though witnesses said otherwise in court.

              No, Cit X I don’t have a clue the name of the people who told you your beliefs, but your parade of ignorance over the years tells me what they believe.

            3. I don’t know why you pulled the ‘socialism’ nugget out of your ass but I guess boogiemen are easier to throw out rather than facts. Nice try.

    2. Obviously,you don’t live in the wide swathe of America that has a declining and aging population where immigrants could fill the need for workers in agriculture and other industries that need them.

      1. Exactly where?
        I’ll tell you where it’s NOT-
        East Texas
        Arkansas
        Mississippi
        Louisiana
        Alabama
        Georgia
        Florida
        South Carolina
        North Carolina
        Virginia

        But oddly enough these areas that have had high Black unemployment for DECADES also have huge illegal populations.

        And quit your “immigrants” bullshit. We’re talking illegal aliens.
        Immigrants earn a higher wage and pay more taxes.

        I still laugh at the fact you claimed to be a Conservative one time.
        What a joke…

      2. TT,

        Perhaps you are “talking illegal aliens,” but I’m not. I was reacting to your comment, “Our main issue is too many people trying to come here,” which was not clearly limited to illegal immigration. It seemed obvious that you were referring to immigration more generally, just like the President when he claimed “America is full,” in the context of people seeking legal US residency, or when he has repeatedly claimed that legal immigrants from most of the world represent the undesirables of their nations of origin (AKA “s*hole countries”}.

        As for “exactly where,” try entering “America is full” into a search engine and you will see at least a dozen independent articles from a wide political spectrum of sources pointing out that the President’s statement, like “Our main issue is too many people trying to come here,” is factually incorrect. You cannot grow an economy without a growing workforce, and almost all of the historical increase in the American workforce — over decades if not centuries — has come from immigration. That isn’t liberal bulls*t. It is conservative economics.

        Early in the current Administration, the minority party at the time joined in a bipartisan compromise that offered the President everything he said he wanted on illegal immigration. They faced political reality and gave up a lot that was important to them and their constituency, as did the majority party in both Houses of Congress. Members on both sides of the aisle stuck out their necks and angered many of their voters and donors in reliance on the President’s promise (in person and on national television, no less) to sign any bill that could pass both Houses with bipartisan support.

        The President then yanked the carpet out from under them by demanding at the last moment that the bill also include massive limits on legal immigration. Since he knew that those demands were unacceptable to Congress, he was intentionally torpedoing the bill that gave him everything he wanted on illegal immigration. To the extent that there is a crisis at the border now, he created it then.

        He certainly isn’t going to get a better deal from Congress, now that the former minority party in the House of Representatives holds a majority. To get a better deal, he is going to have to circumvent Congress and its constitutional role in appropriations and government oversight. He knows that, just as he knows that there is no constitutional means to avoid judicial oversight of his plans. That is why he has (by many accounts) been telling our border enforcers to defy the courts if they try to thwart his extralegal policies and has been promising to pardon them from the lawful consequences.

        There is no reasonable explanation for the President’s position except that he believes — or he thinks his followers believe — that “America First” means that people with origins outside the US mainstream (including even many native-born US citizens) are unworthy of legal protection or human dignity. As many of the commenters on Apple’s China ties suggest, those damn foreigners should stay in their place and follow American law in their own countries.

  6. Obviously all those quotes only refer to gay, trans, bi and people of colour.

    That is, American gays, trans, bi and people of colour.

    Sorry about that, Saudis, Chinese, Turks…

  7. Somehow, we have got to find a way to not do business with China, at least in the high tech areas. With their cultural beliefs regarding copyrights, etc., in the end we will regret having done so.

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