Apple kowtows to China by censoring Taiwan flag emoji

Matthew De Silva for Quartz:

In a recent update to iOS 13.1, Apple’s iPhone operating system, Apple reportedly removed the Taiwanese flag emoji from its keyboard for users in Hong Kong and Macau, China’s two special administrative regions.

Taiwan is an independently run democracy, but China considers it part of its territory.

However, against the backdrop of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests, the move exemplifies continued corporate subservience to the Chinese government. Apple has blocked the Taiwanese flag emoji in mainland China since 2017. For a time, the code for mainland censorship caused some iPhones to crash whenever the devices tried to display the Taiwanese flag. (Apple fixed that bug in July 2018.)

MacDailyNews Take: Apple has a nearly impossible tightrope to walk when it comes to balancing business interests in China and issues like Taiwan.


      1. ScrotoniusSac shows he is a black RACiST against Tim Cook’s old white gay success.

        Please Efffffe offe, ScrotonisSac, you will never amount to 1/10000000th of one of Tim Cook’s little toes.

          1. Nope, only your racism against successful white gays is occupying the space in your brain cells and your scrote.

            Tronbonius sac, needs a thwac, he don’t know Jack – just how to attack. Which is sad.

        1. Hello Hellonius:

          Yours is a cheap shot against Thelonious, who is spot-on with almost every one of his well crafted comments. He has never posted anything even hinting at race as an issue and you are doing it yet sniping at him. Take a walk, off a short pier. In fact, take a nap and leave good people alone with your low rent spewings.

          1. Sorry bro but not, Sad Sac keeps his hateful hand on Tim Cook’s ball sac and keeps squeezing with hate. He makes MoromniusMac pronouncements on a regular basis and weird OMG! Statements

            MoroniusMac is even dumber than Citizen X, and that’s an achievement.

  1. On this news day, it’s reported that Apple “heeds” to the PRC in an act that (symbolically to us/real to the freedom desiring Taiwanese) dismisses the sovereignty and freedom of the Taiwanese. Reported today as well, the GM of the Houston Rockets tweets; “ Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong“ and the NBA, the Chinese Basketball Association and scores of other b-ball related businesses/individuals effectively spank the GM and genuflect towards China to display their abhorrence for the statement. The GM later genuflects himself by qualifying (or diluting) his statement. Freedom is clearly shameful, or at least not worth of an uncompromising stand.

    Closer to Apple, I’m more sensitive to the compromise Cook offers to China. Cook seems to stand tall/strong with other concerns/values he holds and proclaims firmly…this is what should be done…all of you/us…this is what’s right. He said once, if you stockholders disagree with what I’m doing, so be it (find another investment–not verbatim). With this issue, can I assume a societies’ freedom and sovereignty aren’t on his social justice warrior list? Of course it is, but it just happens to be down voted by money. Perhaps greed, or both? I’m fully aware he acts to benefit stockholders and a Chinese stiff-arm wouldn’t be good for the AAPL price. But, the contradiction remains.

    Transparency here: I don’t want my stock holdings to get dinged, so the China-ass-kiss “benefits” me. At the same time, I look at this situation and realize Apple, the NBA, and most of the country is too scared to stand up for freedom (the value that is freedom) because the cost is too real, too raw. Maintaining a dictatorship’s revenue is more desirable than saying “no” for the preservation of freedom/sovereignty. (I’m not excluding myself, btw). This isn’t a good path. This isn’t a good sign.

    1. It depends what measure you’re using. If stock price and stock value is your measure, I’ll bluntly say, you’re wrong. I’ve periodically sold stock since Steve left and the financial value of my holdings is actually significantly greater, despite the selling of shares.

      Now, if you want to talk about the loss of the company’s unique “tech invention” paradigm, I agree. There is/was no one like Steve Jobs. Tim Cook is excellent with number growth, but is ”not a product guy” and that is manifested in plain sight.

      I love AAPL as an investment, but I miss the “story” that Jobs kept writing.

  2. Two easy bypasses enable anyone to include the Taiwan flag & are mentioned in the article. It just isn’t readily displayed in the flags page. I have fought communists in battle and libtards here in the USA so I have no sympathies for China or PLA, but, this is a minor inconvenience and not worthy of your fussing. The NBA issue and IP thefts and concentration camps and social “ratings” by the Reds and fake suicides by victims of the PRC and the Hong Kong agreement violations, now THOSE are issues we should shove in their faces and try to force them to behave like the WTO member Bill Clinton, Kissinger, Brezinski and the other tools hoped that they and N. Korea would become.

  3. Well no one seems to have much of a clue how they would do otherwise… and not ruin the company. Get real, everybody kowtows to China. Every country and every company on the planet kowtows. Crazy? Yes. Should it be different? Of course and you can bet your pension Apple is well along the path to spreading their exposure around the globe. But please don’t expect Apple to be the first to step out of line and volunteer to be beheaded business-wise.
    If Tim Cook has done that ‘I’ would be calling for his head, but as it stands, he deserves the plaudits for confidently steering Apple clear of chaotic geopolitical trading conditions.
    Now the rest of you can carry on bleating about principles on a par with unobtanium in the real world.

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