Four U.S. Congressmen: Apple is ‘a pawn in China’s malfeasance’

Four U.S. Congressmen have accused Apple of being “a pawn in China’s malfeasance” by risking users privacy in the CCP-controlled country.

The letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook from representatives Ken Buck (R-CO), Scott Fitzgerald (R-WI), Burgess Owens (R-UT), and Dan Bishop (R-NC) reads as follows:

Dear Mr. Cook,

Based on recently reported information, we write to urge Apple to reassess its business practices in China and with the Chinese government.

Recently, you have touted your company’s prioritization of Apple users’ control over their data. However, your company’s disingenuous implementation of these rights is striking. Apple users in China have zero protections against the Chinese government’s use of their data stored by the company, and instead of working to counter this problematic reality, Apple continues to concede to the Chinese government’s demands.

While a company may engage in problematic marketplaces so that they have a seat at the table and are positioned to leverage their market influence to advance user privacy and human rights, this is not the reality in this situation. In fact, as your company has compromised its users and supply chains in China, Apple has entwined itself with the very rights abuses it claims to oppose. Apple’s gradual and near-total capitulation to the communist regime in China in its storage of user data under the CCP’s express legal jurisdiction, censorship of its App Store in China, and in other areas is confounding.

On their face, Apple’s corporate values bolster human rights and user privacy, going so far as to affirm, “Privacy is a fundamental human right.” Unfortunately, the company’s systemic failure to uphold these values in its dealings with China contradict this narrative.

Once again, we urge you to consider Apple’s position as a pawn in China’s malfeasance and take the necessary actions to separate your company from the Chinese government’s abuses of its people, international peace and stability, and democratic principles of freedom and equality.

Sincerely,

Ken Buck, Scott Fitzgerald, Burgess Owens, Dan Bishop

MacDailyNews Take: Again, as we’ve said for years now, for better and worse, Apple is wedded to China. It will take many years to even begin to extricate itself from this relationship, at least the the point where the company has some meaningful leverage that the CCP understands.

This situation has been building for years and, for the foreseeable future, will continue to get worse for Apple, not better.

As we wrote back in 2019:

There exists a dichotomy that screams hypocrisy that is impossible to overlook:

Apple CEO Tim Cook, winner of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights’ 2015 Ripple of Hope Award for “his lifelong commitment to human rights,” who subsequently took a place on the board Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights the following year, and winner of Newseum’s 2017 Free Expression Award in the Free Speech category, no less also aids and abets China’s commitment to violating human rights with serial regularity.

Two phrases immediately spring to mind:
• Do as I say, not as I do.
• Talking the talk, but not walking the walk.

Accepting awards, plaudits, and board positions for “free speech” and “human rights” while banning publications and protest apps are tough actions to reconcile due to their diametrically opposed nature.

For how long can Tim Cook, and by extension, Apple, get away with positioning themselves as the world’s white knight while kowtowing to every whim of the Chinese authoritarian socialist censors?

China is critical for Apple in every way from sales to product assembly, so Apple continues to kowtow to China. With Apple’s strong stance – in other places of the world – on users’ rights and privacy, it’s a bad look for the company and a tough tightrope that Tim Cook is trying to walk.MacDailyNews, July 29, 2017

44 Comments

  1. What they do in China does not affect me at all.. My info is safe at home in fact I am glad China’s info is separate from ours keeps their snooping at bay. If they want to snoop on their own people there is nothing we can do about it so enjoy what we have and make a buck off of them.. Keep this issue out of our government – our government has better things to do.

  2. The United States Government has eleven nuclear carrier battle groups, yet the People’s Republic of China continues its steal of the South and East China Seas. Why don’t we just push them back? The answer is that we fear the consequences of an open war. Apple does not even have a destroyer (Samsung at least builds them), but these folks expect the company to declare a war on China that they cannot possibly win.

    No skin off their noses if they drive Apple into bankruptcy. Like all the geniuses here, they do not even hint how Apple is supposed to “separate its operations from the Chinese government” without shutting down its operations everywhere in the world while reorganizing from a quick permanent withdrawal from China.

    Don’t just keep saying, “get out of China.” Provide at least the outline of a plan that would allow that without leaving Apple for several years with nothing to sell.

    1. You continue to focus on the point that’s relatively easy to defend, as the Apple/China dilemma is profoundly difficult to navigate w/o destroying the company and stockholder’s assets. Regardless, even this issue largely falls in Cook purview as he sought to secure company income, w/o perceiving the challenge to security and independence that was inevitable. It is the CEO’s responsibility to perceive macro challenges to “their” company–period.

      The other matter at hand is Cook’s complete hypocrisy with the matters of green, security and human rights. He effectively scolds his national compatriots and stock holders especially, while his other personality bends to the will of The Big Brother in Asia. Making issue of this aspect has nothing to do with China per se. It’s a matter of a person’s integrity and he fails mightily in this regard. Let’s remember his comments of essentially saying “f-it” to the stockholders if they didn’t like his eco-activism…while China–his sugar-daddy–that stokes up another coal plant.

      “We do things because they are right and just and that is who we are. That’s who we are as a company. ” If there was ever a need of a poster-boy for; “do as I say–not as I do,” call Tim. He’s got it down.

    1. Great idea, theloniousmac. 👍🏻

      Irrelevant personal aside, my Catholic confirmation middle name is Thelonious and my mother always admired the name and history.

      A jazz pianist pioneer personal favorite Thelonious Monk born in 1917 North Carolina enjoyed a unique improvisational jazz style and successful career with many hits.

      Got hooked on “good jazz” (Lamar movie quote: “That thing you do!” 1996 Tom Hanks) in my college years thanks to sage guidance from my DJ cousin in the Philadelphia market. Check out the movie, surprise jazz ending.

      Cuz one of first DJs to actively promote Bruce Springsteen from across the border in the early to mid 1970s before the national breakout album, “Born to Run” in 1975. Bruce was on the covers of both Time and Newsweek a week before Christmas the same year. Cousin’s name and thank you from Bruce is on the back of an earlier album.

      Sincere apologies for the off topic personal stray. Responding to your post the following is simply an exercise in fantasy fun. Snowflake intolerant leftists relax for at least a nanosecond and enjoy a chuckle if that is remotely possible.

      Creatively thinking, consider VARIOUS colored leashes to properly reflect the WOKE personalities of the characters TMac mentioned. Leftists call this channeling your personal self.

      ~ RED for Le Braun James making gazillions in China apparel sales corporate sponsor for running around and simply dunking a ball in a ten foot high round hole, while piously and sanctimoniously bad mouthing the USA on the world stage.

      ~ GRAY for the worn out 50-year milquetoast Washington swamp creature Biden, dutifully standing by fingers crossed THE TEAM can relive the past from his glory days with his son enjoying “plausible deniability.”

      ~ RAINBOW for Cook a total no brainer, but not in the traditional sense of classic colors needs an Apple upgrade. For example, the last Apple announcement spring banner logo lettering or the rainbow theatre decorations located in the middle of the Spaceship walled garden is old school.

      Advance progressively and use the same rainbow colors of the M1 iMac combined with an elegant slight metallic sheen on material that meets Jony Ive’s finely milled eclectic standards.

      Yup, that may just about do it…😉

        1. “You single out Cook for a rainbow”

          Cook is HUGE fan of rainbows all over Apple, spaceship architecture installations, advertising, logos, software design, etc. — why do you have a problem with that?

          “yet deny that his sexual orientation is a factor in your dislike of him.”

          Prove your case FAKE PROSECUTOR with my own words I mentioned “sexual orientation” EVEN ONCE and then commented in the negative.

          What I read today in comments section ONLY YOU are OBSESSED WITH Cook’s “sexual orientation” and keep bringing it up. You have a problem with it, say so.

          “Perhaps someone believes you.”

          Perhaps someone believes a LIAR like you with zero evidence, and too stupid to realize you have no credibility mister serial practitioner of conflation…

  3. Yes, yes, yes, it takes courageous Republicans to call it like it is!!!

    Slam Dunk facts from the letter detailing Apple’s epic FAILURE from the work of Tim Cook:

    “Apple users in China have zero protections against the Chinese government’s use of their data stored by the company, and instead of working to counter this problematic reality, Apple continues to concede to the Chinese government’s demands.”

    Cook bows to his Chinese masters any minute of any day.

    “In fact, as your company has compromised its users and supply chains in China, Apple has entwined itself with the very rights abuses it claims to oppose.”

    As I have posted multiple times, Apple is the richest company in history and Tim Cook is the most egregious rights HYPOCRITE in history.

    “Once again, we urge you to consider Apple’s position as a pawn in China’s malfeasance and take the necessary actions to separate your company from the Chinese government’s abuses of its people, international peace and stability, and democratic principles of freedom and equality.”

    AMEN!…

    1. For the Nth time, please explain in concrete detail HOW Apple is supposed to protect the data of Chinese citizens who are physically located in China from access by their own government in accordance with Chinese law. Solutions that prevent Chinese consumers from accessing their own data when they are inside China would prevent government access, obviously, but that is hardly practical. What else would work?

      1. While it is true Apple doesn’t have much of a choice currently in whether or not they can protect the data of users in China, it’s entirely hypocritical for Cook to continue to preach that “privacy is a fundamental human right” when he really means “privacy is a fundamental right for those living in non-suppressive areas”. We often see him conveniently standing up for his human rights beliefs in matters within the boundaries of the United States (see https://www.cnet.com/news/tech-execs-take-stand-against-nc-transgender-law/), but is strangely quiet on matters outside our borders.

        Obviously he has to answer to the Apple board of directors, and any standing up to China would be a massive hit to Apple’s bottom line. North Carolina was popular and didn’t hurt, so it was easy. China, not so much. But…does Apple have some sort of exit strategy over the next 5 years? 10? I would highly doubt it…too much money involved.

        1. For the Nth + 1 time, what strategy would constitute “standing up to China” short of abandoning the Chinese market entirely? Everybody outside China would agree that it is a bad thing that the Chinese do not have access to 100% secure devices (neither does anybody else, incidentally, but the risks are far smaller). Most Chinese citizens outside the government would absolutely–if only privately–agree.

          Where they would not agree is that having compromised personal electronics is worse than having no personal electronics at all. That is the alternative. Apple cannot provide them with privacy. Only a new Chinese government or God could do that. The only choice available to Apple is to either comply with the laws of each country where it does business or to stop doing business in any country where it finds compliance unacceptable.

          Apple is often seen standing up for human rights within the United States because this is a constitutional republic where informing the public and petitioning the government might actually be effective in changing government policy. In China, visible opposition to government policy is not only unlikely to change the policy, but likely to make the government even more adamant. A corporate president in the US who argues for a change in government policy might, at most, lose some business. A CEO who does the same thing in China might get the company’s assets seized and its employees sent to reeducation camps. Apple is big enough to conceivably have some financial leverage in North Carolina. It is nowhere near big enough to pressure China. It is not “hypocrisy” for Apple to treat those entirely different situations as being different.

          1. Quite right, it is not “hypocrisy”‘ for Apple to treat those entirely different situations as being different. However it IS “hypocrisy” to continue to state “Privacy is a fundamental human right” while actively participating in the denial of that same Privacy depending on where you happen to live. If Apple wishes to continue to state as such, stop selling to those that live in the areas where they cannot uphold those values Apple promotes as being important to their brand.

            1. “Quite right, it is not “hypocrisy”‘ for Apple to treat those entirely different situations as being different.”

              Quite WRONG!

              Read the Republican letter to Tim Cook detailing his epic HYPOCRISIES and FAILURES both on the human rights front and business practices.

              You and TxUseless are of the same leftist ilk, making EXCUSES to cover your boy for epic mistakes. Notably, risking Apple business in a Communist country PURELY for obscene profits at any cost. How nobel…

            2. @Sum Jung Gai – If you read my statement I said exactly what Apple should do, if Apple wants to continue claiming “Privacy is a fundamental human right”, then stop selling their products to those living in the areas where they cannot uphold those values.

              @GoeB – If you comprehended my statement properly you would realize that I am separating action from their statement. If they don’t make the privacy value statement, there is nothing they are being hypocritical about regarding privacy. It is the combination of the two that give rise to being hypocritical.

            3. Upon second reading very carefully, admit I missed your subtle parsing of the two scenarios and outcome recommendations the other day and agree with you. Very thoughtful commentary, BTW.

              That said, Cook’s Apple is not remotely interested. CCP monitors everything Apple does in China every second of every day in addition to monitoring Chinese citizens using Apple iPhone apps and other devices. Something no one talks about or remotely cares to admit, particularly Apple.

              Why should they? CCP blows the dog whistle and Apple lapdogs respond immediately. Capitulate to censorship and remove apps and change business practices to whatever the Chinese masters demand on a moments notice going on for years. Wash their hands and back home in time for supper.

              Why? OBSCENE CORPORATE PROFITS with no CONSCIENCE!

              Something the Leftist Big Media and 60 Minutes consistently spotlighted Republican companies in scathing righteous commentaries regarding slave labor for profit. But today considering Leftist Apple, crickets : : : : :

              Cook is held tightly on two leashes present day. The dominant leash is held by the Apple board responsible for his employment. Endanger our profit margins by playing outspoken SJW in China and we all know what will eventually happen.

              It takes smart, courageous and astute Republicans to take on the Apple juggernaut BUSINESS HYPOCRISY. Out of touch Biden, Pelosi and the rest of the politically correct woke ilk are clueless and SILENT. Don’t want to endanger 95% of political contributions from Apple and other Silicon Valley Tech woke companies unevenly going to Democrat Party coffers.

              Bottom Line: More than one HYPOCRISY going on at the same time — Apple, Big Media and the Democrat Party. Apple owner since 1982 initially all in under Jobs mission statement, through trials and tribulations over decades. Never thought I would see the day when Apple no longer cares UNIFORMLY across the globe about anything, except massive profits and no interruptions at the expense of human rights.

              So very sad…😪

            4. What a brilliant insight: “CCP monitors everything Apple does in China every second of every day.”

              That’s what totalitarian dictatorships do. Only a moron is under the impression that individuals or companies under a dictatorship have any real freedom. You comply or you–at best–go to jail. At worst, you die and your family and associates are shipped off to reeducation camps. You do not make a bold stand for human rights and then go on with your life. To claim otherwise is a lie.

              Yes, Apple can simply pull out of China entirely. If that is what you anti-Cook folks really want, say so… clearly and explicitly. Explain what Apple can do to survive that event, or admit that you don’t care if the company survives. Either of those positions is intellectually and morally defensible.

              I’m not quite sure how anybody in China would benefit, and I don’t expect that you can explain how that virtue-signaling gesture would materially help a single human being on our planet, but it would at least be consistent with a refusal to cooperate with a vicious immoral government.

              What is NOT defensible is to suggest that Apple can somehow remain in China without obeying Chinese law, or that it can pull out of China overnight without massive consequences for the survival of the company and for its Chinese employees and customers. This is not about protecting massive profits, or even modest profits, but about avoiding a possibly fatal disaster.

              There is no evidence that Apple does not care about human rights. All the evidence is that the company is trying to escape its dependence on China as rapidly as it possibly can… which is not at all the same as shutting down its Chinese operations before the new work week begins. Apple cannot signal its virtue by simply denouncing the regime or by announcing that it will leave in the future. If it did so, the Chinese government would immediately expropriate their assets and expel or arrest their non-Chinese staff. If you do not believe that, explain why China would suddenly abandon its standard response to criticism.

      2. The MASTER of deflection, AGAIN, totally misses the whole point and totality of the letter, as well as MDN’s takes, in his daily sycophant DEFENSE of the most hypocritical CEO in history.

        You don’t see ALL the issues and, AGAIN, miss the forest for the trees.

        Gee, what a surprise…🤣

        1. “mortally offended” did you say mortally? Funny, I’m still here typing. 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

          The hurting and clearly rattled GoeB stalker is back again with another useless Saul Alinsky tactic. Fine, what is your evidence FAKE PROSECUTOR, hmmm???

          Certainly, you have my words in pull quotes to make such an outrageous accusation and PROVE IT without a shadow of a doubt, correct?

          Alrighty then, let’s rock! Make your iron clad case post haste to the rest of the class. We are all BREATHLESSLY waiting for the smoking gun clear cut EVIDENCE.

          Whenever you are ready unhinged LYING POS!… 🖕🏻🖕🏻

            1. Well, well, well, deflection master response just run away from my DIRECT CHALLENGE to one of my later posts. 🤔

              Specifically, response Saturday, May 22, 2021 at 10:16 am

              Reminds me of a scene in the 1975 comedy classic, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”

              The woke COWARD incapable of prosecuting me by my own words. Bragging for years about his lifetime prosecution prowess and his experience training police officers. Yeah, right.

              If you have to keep repeating your resume when no one asked you, the tipoff is too easy — TYPICAL Leftist brainwashing campaign.

              No amount of LIES from TxUser will change reality one atomic particle. Not now, not EVER!…💪🏻👊🏻💪🏻👊🏻💪🏻

        2. Who the f said anything about his sexual pref as it relates to their criticism of Cook?

          It is pathological…you confound, conflate and confuse issues for your own gain.

          Simply tedious.

  4. What Apple did was sell their soul to CPP and their local provincial governments where Apple severs were located. Apple actually sold them and handed over the ownership of these servers. I do not know the proportion of Apple’s sales in China now, but I bet fair chunk comes from, you guessed it, phones. Apple makes good phones but they must reduce dependency to a single product, and single country. All CPP wanted was privacy data. Once they have it (and it was a gold mine for them), they can do all sorts of bad things in controlling their population. They are conveniently packed in data centers scattered around in China. No hacking necessary.
    But I tend to believe that there must be other side of this story behind it. CCP cannot guarantee any sales of particular products in their country (once they got what they really wanted, they might start real strong campaign to promote home grown phones). when Cook sold out the soul of Apple, I believe here must have been something he obtained in exchange. He was not just seeking for the sale value of these servers, fully knowing there would be a huge backlash against what he did. Anyway, now that it is becoming a political hot potato, we will be watching this issue closely. Maybe even more solar panel import? lol

    1. Perhaps you should have your wife explain the concept of rape. Just because Apple transferred data to government servers in response to superior force, it does not mean that they agreed with the transaction. If you were presented with a valid court order to turn over your customer data, it would not be a voluntary choice for you to comply, even in the United States. The difference is that in the US, you would be the only person going to jail for contempt of court. In China, it might well be all your employees, your family, and your closest friends.

      1. Well, I do not think anyone was raped here (not forcibly anyway). It may be a consented affair, According to various papers, it sounded like a legitimate and amicable sale/purchase transaction, believe it or not!
        But what do I know? I believe (just believe) there seem to be more to something than meets the eye. Was it a simple sale of servers that contain sensitive personal info?
        But it also seems like too simple a story.
        Somebody has explanations to congressmen’s letter in due course….

  5. America is currently on offensive against China’s audacity, violation of human rights and IP, and unilateral declaration of atoll as China’s territory after landfilling etc. I can see congressmen’s fury particularly since Cook has always been portraying and championing himself advocating privacy, human rights and other SJW standings. I view congressmen’s letter quite reasonable, and in fact, it’s probably something that most, if not all common people like us were thinking and could agree.

  6. Cook is an easy target for politicians.He has done nothing illegal or broken any laws in dealing with China. Now on the other hand we have the whole Biden clan.

  7. A liberal with utterly hypocritical views? A liberal who says one thing and does another!? A coward who bends to the leftist mob at the drop of a hat? ..but digs in against common sense?

    Say it ain’t so!!!

    1. We are hypocrites…..spying is illegal and Chinese companies like Huawei are band for doing it. Yet we let Google and Facebook do it wholesale and ignore it. Google sells our data to China.

  8. Or…. Apple may have made up their mind to get out of the Chinese market altogether?
    Nah….
    But selling or transferring servers means only one thing,,,,
    I am going to have to retire from this topic as my wild imagination seems to be getting its own life. Danger…..

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