U.S. Senator Ted Cruz blasts Apple, ‘desperate to make a buck in China,’ for prioritizing profits over principles

Julia La Roche for Yahoo Finance:

Senator Ted Cruz on Wednesday called China “the most significant long-term geopolitical threat facing America,” as a high-stakes trade war converges with other flashpoints that are ratcheting up tensions between the world’s two largest economies.

In a wide-ranging conversation with Yahoo Finance‘s editor-in-chief Andy Serwer, the Texas Republican and 2016 GOP presidential contender described his tour through Asia with stops in Japan, Taiwan, India, and Hong Kong.

The Lone Star State’s junior senator went on to slam China’s human rights records as “abysmal,” pointing to the roughly million Muslim Uighurs who are held in internment camps and are subjected to torture and death. Amid a protest movement in Hong Kong that’s ensnared big U.S. multinational brands, Cruz also called out the broader business community for prioritizing profits over principles.

He singled out Apple (AAPL) after it reportedly removed the Taiwanese flag from its emoji keyboard in Hong Kong, and also pulled two apps from its store that protesters there used to organize. “I don’t think U.S. companies should be willing to aid and abet oppression and censorship by the Communist government,” Cruz added.

Some quotes from Cruz:

You know, China is modernizing its military they’re doing so in large part with technology, intellectual property they’ve stolen from the United States cause they employ the theft of [intellectual property] as a policy agenda item. And that threat is very real.

• China’s human rights record is abysmal. They torture their citizens. They murder their citizens. Roughly a million Uighurs are held in concentration camps… What we’re seeing now though is a more dangerous incarnation, which is U.S. companies, they’re so desperate to make a buck in China — and I get it — it’s a lot of money access to the Chinese market — but but we shouldn’t have our fundamental values — free speech shouldn’t be for sale.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple CEO Tim Cook needs to be wary of the fact that words not backed up by action — or worse, words directly in conflict with action — are empty and meaningless. Cook’s recent excuse memo to employees for his kowtowing to China over the HKMaps app in Hong Kong was laughable and pitiable.

• 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

• 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. — Tim Cook

• History rarely yields to one person, but think and never forget what happens when it does. That can be you. That should be you. That must be you. — Tim Cook

You either say things like this and back them up with action or you shut up and take the dirty money. You cannot do both and claim any authority.

Here is the October 18, 2019 letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook from U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, Tom Cotton, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and U.S. House members Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Mike Gallagher, and Tom Malinowski:

Letter from U.S. Congress to Apple CEO Tim Cook regarding actions in Hong Kong

48 Comments

  1. Tim Cook embarrassingly talks a big game when he’s safe and sound, but goes to China and prostrates himself to his Chinese masters in the name of the almighty dollar.

    1. Wait just a cotton picking minute here. Ted Cruz is the guy that wanted to stay in the senate so badly that he had trump, a man who talk poorly about his wife, his father, and Cruz himself, makes a complaint like this. You have got to be kidding me. Hey Texas, I thought you guys and ladies were tougher than that. Hell, I expected Cruz to take trump outback and defend at least his wife’s honor. Oh yeah, I forgot, he is really Canadian. But still Texas, how could you guys elect such a guy. Oh well, Texas ain’t what it use to be, or maybe it was all TV imaging to start with. Even if he couldn’t beat trump in a fight over his wife’s honor, you could at least respect the man. Well as King Trump would say, SAD. Allow me to add my opinion to the king trump, PITIFUL.

    1. I think it better said that if you find yourself in agreement with AOC, check your premises. She could accidentally be correct, but it’s not typical. For instance, she thinks that Mark Zuckerberg has cocktail parties for white supremacists at his home, or something. She clearly suffers from a form of cognitive impairment (I am not kidding).

  2. The Board of Directors shares some of the responsibility for this situation. I’m getting tired of seeing that image of Tim Cook on a leash, which does not advance the discussion of this complex issue. That said, the optics of this don’t look good for Apple. I suspect there is a lot of private discussion about how Apple should respond to China’s oppression and restriction of freedom. Bringing Apple’s publicly stated values into conformity with their behavior sooner than later should be a priority.

    1. I think you hit the nail on the head. Tim’s job shackles him. One fundamental change that seemed to happen once Steve Jobs was gone is that Apple shifted from insanely great, crazy cool, magical products, as a priority, to profitability as a priority, like most corporations.

      So Tim has to please stock holders, the board of directors, and Apple fanatics. Apple has to somehow be super profitable, demonstrate that it has amazing potential for growth, and build amazing products, some of which are desired by fanatics but of little use as far as profitability and growth. I’m pointing directly at Macintosh. As far as profitability and growth, manufacturing in China keeps costs way down and going after the Chinese market is major growth potential which the stock market loves, especially for iPhone, but not so much for Macintosh.

      If Apple pulled out of China all together, my guess is that their stock would crash, as Wall Street would see no more growth potential. Everyone in America who can afford an iPhone has one. Not much growth here. Profit would go down as they’d have to move manufacturing somewhere expensive like the U.S. where they don’t have the facilities or the available trained population.

      “Our kids” are too busy running up $300,000 student debt loans majoring in Pan African Studies, and demanding that those loans be forgiven because they can’t find a job, and asking for Universal Basic Income so they can be artists in their spare time, all while marching around dressed up like Vaginas and demanding equal pay. This leaves slim pickings for Apple, who strangely backs all of this behavior with a passion.

      No wonder you have engineers making $300k in America.

      Now if all of that isn’t bad enough, here comes Donald Trump who decides to correct the trade imbalance with China at this very moment.

      Cook is CEO during a perfect storm.

      So the last thing you want to do is rock the boat in China. In China, it is said, “You don’t rock the boat, the boat rocks you.” You must comply and kowtow until you find a way out of this situation which you may or may not be able to do.

      Next best place to take all those Chinese jobs is India, but how different is dealing with India? You’re still on someone else’s soil and the character, culture, and nature of that country is still very different than your own.

      Meanwhile you push services that don’t require manufacturing, and hope people figure out that iPad is the way to go soon.

      You kowtow and ask the Chinese if there isn’t another fledgling company you can make an “investment” in.

      You take shit from everyone and keep playing 4 dimensional globalist chess until you’re in a position to tell China to go fuck themselves.

      Apple tries to walk the line here. I.e. “Look how great we are! We managed to build a massive corporate headquarters, Apple Stores all over’s God’s green Earth, manufacturing facilities all over China, and yet took the company 100% solar.” Never mind that they still haven’t shipped a new MacPro in the time it took to do all of that.

      I guess when you think about it, who else could do a better job right now? We all have one beef or another with Tim, but who else could do this? Certainly not AOC or Ted Cruz.

      I think if I were Tim, I would be genetically engineering a super CEO starting with DNA from Steve Jobs.

      1. For once, I agree with most of what you said here. Apple is disentangling itself from China with all deliberate speed, but it cannot do it overnight without exceptionally harsh consequences to Apple employees… many of whom live in Texas, Senator Cruz. Offsetting that cost would be no tangible benefit to anybody. Apple cannot keep those apps available to Chinese consumers. If the company flouts Chinese law, the whole App Store will become unavailable. Again, that has no tangible benefit to anybody… aside from my Canadian senator claiming moral victory.

        1. “Apple is disentangling itself from China with all deliberate speed, but it cannot do it overnight without exceptionally harsh consequences to Apple employees… many of whom live in Texas, Senator Cruz.”

          What is your perennial problem with the partisan scolding cheap shots this time of Senator Cruz Mr. FAKE conservative, hmmm’? You honestly believe Ted does not know the largest company in history has employees in his state and needs a pointy head covert Democrat like you to point it out?

          Two: “Again, that has no tangible benefit to anybody… aside from my Canadian senator claiming moral victory.”

          Oh, another snide partisan cheap shot this time insulting the heritage of a great senator, Ted Cruz of Texas.

          Just another partisan alert, pointing out two more USER cheap shots… 🤨

  3. Apple CEO Tim Cook, Hypocrite Extraordinaire, has accepted the “Free Speech Award” (Newseum) and the “Human Rights Award” (Birmingham Metro Southern Christian Leadership Conference).

    Prisoners in China’s Xinjiang concentration camps subjected to gang rape and medical experiments.

    This is Hitler all over again and Tim Cook turns a blind eye, and even helps China, while atrocities happen. Shame on the weak hypocrite Cook and on Apple by association.

    1. China has a terrible human rights record, but so do the Taliban… and they almost got an invitation to spend the week of 9/11 at Camp David with the President. The strongest echoes of “Hitler all over again” lately were the images of Administration officials returning from Munich or Istanbul clutching their umbrellas and announcing peace in our time.

      1. My point is that politics in the real world are messy. Everything involves trade offs between costs and benefits. Mr. Trump felt that the benefits of abandoning our allies in Afghanistan and northern Syria were worth the costs. Others might differ. Mr. Cook feels that the benefits of continued engagement with China still outweigh the costs of an abrupt withdrawal.

      2. “China has a terrible human rights record, but so do the Taliban… and they almost got an invitation to spend the week of 9/11 at Camp David with the President.”

        “Why am I so doubtful whenever you are out of sight…

        WooHoo…”

        Deflection, “torments my heart”
        Deflection, “keeps us apart”
        Deflection, “why torture me”

        Parody from classic hit song “Suspicion” by the Elvis the King.

        USER serial cheap shot amber alert! WOOP! WOOP! WOOP!

        President Trump has absolutely nothing to do with this post. Just in case that did not sink into your snide skull USER, for your benefit repeat: President Trump has absolutely nothing to do with this post.

        Your psychopathic demonizing obsession aside, we are talking about Cook and China. Please learn how to read and keep up with the rest of the class FAKE conservative …

        1. No, the subject is whether taking a moral stand should always overcome an objective cost/benefit analysis. When Mr. Cook says no, you call it cowardice. When Mr. Trump does the same, you call it statesmanship. I was just pointing out the inconsistency.

          1. USER serial President Trump cheap shot amber alert! WOOP! WOOP! WOOP!

            I REPEAT!!! President Trump has absolutely nothing to do with this post! Just in case that did not sink into your snide TWISTED skull USER, for your benefit repeat: President Trump has absolutely nothing to do with this post!

            NO, the subject is spineless hapless CEO Cook kowtowing to his Chinese overlords in the name of the almighty dollar. He has no talent other than to squeeze profits and degrade Apple products by the smallest millimeter in material raising profit margins.

            The SJW HYPOCRITE muzzled himself on speaking out for Chinese Human Rights, freedom for the people of Hong Kong while in the U.S. his behavior is the exact opposite publicly supporting social justice causes.

            Cook looks good on a red leash with five gold stars…

  4. Because those senators don’t make a buck from China, right? And those senators went after companies when they went to China, right? No, because seeking profit is capitalist, and filling their pockets any way they can is the greater good for these wealthy men. But now they cry foul! Until those senators take care of people in the US with basic health care, reducing homeless people, minimum wage, just shut up about business decisions. Your morals aren’t that high in the first place. China is just a distraction to your unwillingness to achieve any social and welfare change in the US.

      1. Nope, this is all just distraction. They don’t want to talk about America and the problems within. Unless these senators want all American companies to pull out of China, and the US government never to do business with China again, this “outrage” is all a moot point. I don’t agree with this retreating out of China anyways, because having good relations with China will eventually change the Chinese people towards a more western cultural attitude. In the end, only the people can change China — yes, it will take decades. And these senators should first try to make the USA decent before descending all high and mighty upon other nations.

        1. I don’t think “moot” means what you think it means.

          International business law, especially as it pertains to trade with China, is very much a core issue that Americans need to address URGENTLY. Of course, most people see the advantage of global alliances but this administration has chosen isolationism, the worst of all economic policies. Prior administrations chose unaccountable corporatism, which has had predictable complicated results.

          Since Tricky Dick “opened China for business” in 1972, working classes in the USA have received stagnant wages while corporate leaders happily pocketed piles of cash liberated by relocating as much production as possible to a communist nation with poor labor and environmental records, and then hiding that cash in overseas tax havens. The rich moved to gated communities while the rust belt grew and inner cities fell apart. The result is obvious: middle class in right leaning western democracies is slowly disappearing, rich have captured all the gains, the poor are getting poorer fatter and disenfranchised, sustaining their wasteful lifestyles with debt. Moderate and some (not all) left leaning democracies such as the Scandinavian countries accomplish much better objective results but of course that’s unacceptable to wannabe cowboys in America.

          The conventional wisdom prompted children to strive for higher education, as outsourcing and automation decimated entry level manufacturing jobs that once formed the first rung of the economic ladder. Only to find that after getting a degree, the college grads in the lower half of their classes have huge debts and found out the hard way that while there are always jobs (jobs jobs jobs!!!, pep rally cry), there aren’t actually high paying jobs for everyone. The dead-end “middle class” service jobs available to them don’t offer pensions or comprehensive healthcare anymore. Expensive federal social programs established many decades ago were never designed to support what people demand today (Keep guvmint hands outta my Medicare! the signs say). The hodgepodge safety net to keep the population healthy and productive is NOT working, as evidenced by objective measures in financial savings, health, drug abuse, happiness, etc. But all attempts at reform to benefit the lower classes — even something as simple as indexing minimum wage to cost of living — are blocked by a carnival barker and a turtle.

          Not that the liberals have good answers either. Enriching the poor with the wave of a wand isn’t realistic. Establishing higher standards is a noble goal, but it cannot be achieved only with a stick. Both stick and EARNED carrot are needed, and both require efficient regulation that exists only when achievable results are shown. If results are not achieved, then legislature needs to work in a nonpartisan manner to fix it . That doesn’t happen. Instead each corrupt party attempts to undermine anything the other camp does. Party before nation.

          It needs to be said that the current cult of personality president doesn’t fix anything. His revolving cast of US attorney generals haven’t achieved any corruption swamp draining, nor have his personal attorneys (indicted ones and otherwise). Mussolini-wannabe isn’t proposing any regulatory reform in his unending tweet storm. He’s busy castigating real and imagined political enemies. Pep rallies offer platitudes, not results. Would a return to low value manufacturing be a good thing? Economists say no. Trump economic results thus far have been predictable: sugar high of tax cut, followed by a return to slow growth and huge increase in debt, increasing risks of a corrective recession. But all that is lost on his cult. These delusional partisans think an aging nation that shuts its borders to achieve a net 0% population growth can somehow sustain 5, 6, or 7 % endless economic growth by emphasizing 19th century industries. It would be better for the USA to strive like Germany has for high value product production, with large investments in efficiency and sustainability. Trade schools would enable an economic path for those people who are not interested in white collar work; wages would be high so success is shared by everyone, and quality of one’s healthcare is not dependent on their place of employment. Investments in the common good to the benefit of all are wise, but the current administration isn’t working to hash out a pragmatic nonpartisan infrastructure bill. Citizens are waiting.

          Unfortunately the USA has chosen a stance that ensures future stagnation rather than global competitiveness. The size of the USA no longer protects it against rising non-democratic regimes, it is reliant on trade. So what to do? CEOs own Congress, so since 1972, the extreme right wing proposals to stop the Asian tiger centered around lowering regulations so that pollution and safety in the USA could drop to the same level. That has been roundly rejected by citizens over and over. So now the new tack is to tax consumers with con don tariffs in a vain attempt to force the public to buy locally produced goods which, to anyone with a brain, realizes is impossible. Almost all low cost consumer goods including your Macs and iPhones are Chinese-made. There is no domestic alternative. Nor are US diplomats lowering trade barriers with reliable peaceful ally nations to spur long term economic benefits between democratic nations.

          The USA needs to pull its head out of its butt and stop the arbitrary tariff games (now it’s really going to happen, Charlie Brown!). They do not offset the wage difference. The way to stop China from undercutting US prices is to enhance international trade regulation, requiring higher levels of cleanliness, purity, labor standards, etc. Most western nations already meet this. China doesn’t. The dumbass administration has instead trashed multinational treaties.

          Reform, elimination of partisanship and corporate ownership of Congress, and multinational trade agreements could bring prosperity to ALL Americans. Instead today Timmy gets to pocket >$100 million in stock every year because con don gave him special tariff exemptions to continue to build 99% of Apple stuff in China, while hiring low wage T-shirt wearing kids locally to run the retail distribution sites and continuing to lobby for greencard exemptions to import coders. Then Timmy gets himself on the board of not a US university, but a Chinese one.

          Does anyone see any disconnects between the goals of Americans and the goals of the people in power?

        2. Tim Cook was willing to give up all the customers and businesses in North Carolina if they didn’t allow men to marry men. Of course Tim is fine with China and the Muslim world executing homosexuals for being homosexual. Not a word of complaint on that from. They are just being diverse. Tim is full of crap.

          1. If North Carolina weren’t allowing men to marry men (which wasn’t the case), they would have been violating the US Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court. That is not the law in some other places, and Apple follows the law in each jurisdiction where it does business. The company has a long history (pre-Cook) of petitioning democratic governments to change laws that conflict with Apple values.

            There is an equally long history of dealing with non-democratic governments by behind-the-scenes efforts rather than public confrontation. Confronting China is not just worthless. It is actually likely to make the situation worse by hardening their resolve. We have no way to know what Cook and Apple are doing privately. Criticizing them without that information may be entirely misplaced.

    1. Yes it was fun reading the Tim Cook Moral High Horse posts about demanding that North Carolina rescind democratically chosen policies about rest rooms. All because Tim Cook insists that transsexual men be allowed in little girls rooms. That was a very Moral High Horse position, for a jackass.

      1. Actually, Kent, what the North Carolina Legislature did was rescind democratically chosen policies about rest rooms adopted by the largest cities and universities in the state. All because a rural minority took the Moral High Horse position that transsexual women (not men) must be forced to use men’s rooms, regardless of their safety.

      2. PS. It was the Legislature that voted to allow—nay, require—North Carolina transsexual men, including big hairy blokes with a female birth certificate and male genitalia who prefer females as sexual partners, to share the facilities with little girls. The legislators may not have understood what transgender men are, either.

  5. I wonder what the reaction would be if all of the big tech companies created police tracking software for Americans to track their police. I remember some blow back from WAZE having a way to let people know where police are on the roads.

  6. Weird that politicians always blasting China on human rights don’t mention this:


    the European Union has dozens of concentration camps on the North African Coast housing half a million or more migrants. The EU funds Libyan and other warlords to intercept and incarcerate African migrant boats. (as these boats are in open waters it is piracy and enslavement) In the camps which include women and children inmates are routinely abused and gang raped. Some have been there for years . The EU spends millions of dollars funding this and equips the warlords with patrol boats and modern weapons.

    The Guardian

    The EU’s deal with Libya is sentencing refugees to death

    “ For the past six months I’ve been in daily contact with detainees in nine different detention centres who use hidden phones to reveal what’s going on at huge risk to themselves. EU leaders continue to promote the idea that arrivals in Europe and deaths at sea are dropping. But what about the untold suffering of thousands of men, women, and children, whom the EU has effectively turned away?

    They speak of going days without food and of drinking toilet water to survive. Some have stopped speaking, forgotten their families, sit crouched in a corner and wet themselves from trauma, according to witnesses. Couples are separated – some of the roughly 640 detained children are held with their mothers, though those over 14 are kept in adult cells. In one centre, Triq al Sikka, infected detainees are locked with others in a dark room and have been repeatedly left without tuberculosis medication, in one case for more than a month. In October, a 28-year-old Somali set himself on fire there after saying he saw no other way out.”

    Article
    “EU support for Libya contributes to ‘extreme abuse’ of refugees, says study

    In early January dozens of refugees and migrants, brought by the coastguard to the Libyan port city of Khoms, were forced back to smugglers by Libyan guards in Souq al-Khamis detention centre. They now risk torture if they can’t raise an the $5,000 ransom that has already been demanded.“

    ()

    DW,com

    “ Torture in EU-funded camps
    The study’s findings are not new, but the magnitude and appalling nature of the details are. “These most serious human rights violations are taking place through partners of the European Union. This is what is now being expressed even more strongly,” said Karl Kopp of the human rights organization Pro Asyl. He explained how the Libyan coast guard intercepts refugees and takes them back to torture camps. Since the traffickers’ profits have fallen, they use torture to generate money. “We have seen a similar situation in Sinai, where families of women from Eritrea were blackmailed.” The difference is that in Libya they are “our camps, recognized governments’ European-funded camps, where the worst human rights violations are taking place,” Kopp said, adding that this is being done in the name of Europe and is part of the agreement with war-torn Libya.”

    ….
    (. (
    INTERESTING THAT FEW POLITICIANS like teddy TALK ABOUT THINGS LIKE THS

    Not saying China is great but it’s racist and hypocritical when people complain about China and refuse to see this other stuff.

    For one politician (or article) talking about European etc abuse there is 1000 on the Uighur

    Never heard one politician say we should stop or censor trading with Europe like they talk about China

    FOCUSING JUST ON CHINA CHINA CHINA AND REFUSING TO LOOK AT OTHER STUFF (hundreds of thousands imprisoned illegally – these people have not even reached Europe – tortured, raped and dying by the hundreds ) IS JUST RACISM AND HYPOCRISY

    (for those who flame me on this: go google the issue yourself)

    1. EU concentration camps?
      Yes there are legitimate concerns about the treatment of subSaharan refugees. But bald lying is not the answer.
      I asked for a citation when you first posted this lie. I’m asking again.

  7. Why don’t people like Ted Cruz ever direct their ire at Donald Trump? I don’t see anyone from the Trump administration criticizing China’s human rights record. I don’t see any tweets from Donald in support of Hong Kong protests (and he obviously has the time for it since he tweets about everything else). Why is the American business community expected to take the lead against Chinese human rights when the President of the United States couldn’t even care any less?

    1. Apple CEO Tim Cook, Hypocrite Extraordinaire, has accepted the “Free Speech Award” (Newseum) and the “Human Rights Award” (Birmingham Metro Southern Christian Leadership Conference).

      That’s why.

      1. On January 20, 2017, Donald Trump accepted the grandest prize of all: being sworn in as President of the United States of America. More meaningful than any laser-etched plaque could ever be. He sets the agenda of the federal government and American foreign policy, and right now it’s completely devoid of any care regarding human rights and corruption (unless it involves Joe Biden). So why should the American business community walk a path that’s any different from their own government?

        1. Here, take it from the hypocrite himself:

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

          “Personally, I’ve never found being on the sideline a successful place to be. The way that you influence these issues is to be in the arena. So whether it’s in this country, or the European Union, or in China or South America, we engage. And we engage when we agree and we engage when we disagree. I think it’s very important to do that because you don’t change things by just yelling. You change things by showing everyone why your way is the best. In many ways, it’s a debate of ideas.” – Tim Cook

          “It’s very important [to engage]. Governments can affect our ability to do what we do,” he responded. “They can affect it in positive ways and they can affect in not so positive ways. What we do is focus on the policies. Some of our key areas of focus are on privacy and security, education. They’re on advocating for human rights for everyone, and expanding the definition of human rights.” – Tim Cook

          “We very much stand up for what we believe in. We think that’s a key part of what Apple is about. And we’ll continue to do so.” – Tim Cook

          Apple CEO Tim Cook is a fscking hypocrite.

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