Apple execs told Apple TV+ content creators not to portray China negatively

Alex Kantrowitz and John Paczkowski for Buzzfeed News:

Apple’s recent actions in China are a continuation of the company’s years-long practice of appeasing Beijing. To do business in China, the company adopts to local dictates, distasteful as they may be to its CEO Tim Cook, an outspoken gay rights advocate and privacy crusader. It’s an ironic inversion of a longstanding argument in the West that by bringing China into the world trade system, the country would adopt western values. Instead, China is asking tech companies to adopt its values — and Apple is willing to pay that price.

In early 2018 as development on Apple’s slate of exclusive Apple TV+ programming was underway, the company’s leadership gave guidance to the creators of some of those shows to avoid portraying China in a poor light, BuzzFeed News has learned. Sources in position to know said the instruction was communicated by Eddy Cue, Apple’s SVP of internet software and services, and Morgan Wandell, its head of international content development.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple CEO Tim Cook designed, constructed, and wedged Apple into this increasingly claustrophobic Chinese box.

Cook’s nonsensical memo to employees this week and Apple’s repeated kowtowing to China over years is a sad state of affairs.


  1. Tim Cook is a spineless embarrassment.

    He needs to shut up with his sanctimonious claptrap since his actions clearly do not support human rights or free speech. In fact, his actions to appease the authoritarian Chinese socialists continually disrespect human rights and free speech. Tim Cook is the very definition of a hypocrite.

    1. Mr Blood71, when it comes to Apple leaving China in a peaceful manner, it is easier bled than done. Hopefully Apple can make the move without any bloodshed as it would a bloody shame and a bloody mess if there were any. Apple is in too deep to withdraw quickly and without profit loss. But leave they definitely should, over time.

      1. Plainly my comment wasn’t about all the minutia or the details of leaving China which isn’t necessary here nor the point. Captain Obvious knows it will be difficult to transition. But is it time to start moving Apple operations out of China? You bet your sweet bippy it is.

    1. Here’s your example: South Park put out 2 episodes in the past 2 weeks that showed China in a very bad light. So bad that all episodes of South Park are completely banned in China. So there’s your example. Now what?

      1. Seriously? South Park. How many people does south park need to employ in China? What … Zero? How many products will south park sell in china over the next 10 years? What? … 12 cartman dolls?

      2. Ok, how does a show that is banned in China help the people of China? I suppose it might have some value for educating non-Chinese about the situation inside the country, but there are plenty of sources for that. Apple. TV needs to trade that against the certainty that they would lose the chance to reach any of the Chinese market with information about the outside world. Isolating China seems a curious way to try inducing them into the world community. There is a line to walk and balancing on it is not as easy as some might wish.

        1. It need not benefit anyone. We don’t predicate the 1st Amendment over who it benefits. It benefits everyone. Even racists speaking freely is a benefit. It makes them easier to spot.

  2. chinese autocrats do not fear you or hollywood or apple or nba or any country, yet, the thought that their own people will one day take to the streets sends them into a panic. it’s already happening in hong kong. they can’t let this go unpunished.

      1. To ethnic cleanse is ok, or at least without major relevance. And, freedom and sovereignty, ha….

        Let us all move past China’s “personal foibles” and just embrace the markets.

          1. You are the one who brought up ethnic cleansing. How is setting up a genocide of the Kurds more acceptable than doing the same to the Uigurs and Tibetans? One difference is that the US used to stand against that sort of thing.

            It is clear that your idolatry of Don surrounds you. Your objections to Tim Cook have never been that he is a “virtue signaler,” but that you and he do not regard the same things as virtues. Donald Trump and Tim Cook are both warriors for incompatible notions of social justice.

            Using positive reenforcement for good Chinese behavior does not constitute acceptance of their bad behavior. Engagement is as valid an approach as confrontation, and in some circumstances it may be more effective

            1. How the hell my initial post and my reply to yours brought you to concluded/presume as you did is absolutely astounding. Truly, the only thing you had correct about me was, “you are the one who brought up ethnic cleansing”. Everything else was bs; and nothing I’ve ever written on this site, or said to those that know me would support your prejudicial notions.

              Again, I’ll say “focus.” I’ll add, if you are going to flail around off-topic in a personal way, focus on the facts.

  3. On a slightly different but terrifying subject. Ask you pharmacist next time you pick up ANY script, where it is made and the country of origin for the ingredients. Right now 90% of big pharma drug manufacturing have been moved to China. The fuckers gotta get every last penny of profit and to hell with clean and proper active ingredients.

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