Apple playing with fire by cozying up to Communist Party

The US company talks like it cares about human rights, but the reality is apparently much different.

Buzzfeed has just published an article looking at how Apple has been appeasing the Chinese government:

When Tim Cook tried to explain away its actions this week by saying protesters were using to “maliciously to target individual officers for violence” without providing evidence, even longtime Apple observer and blogger John Gruber, couldn’t stomach it.

“I can’t recall an Apple memo or statement that crumbles so quickly under scrutiny,” Gruber wrote. “For a company that usually measures umpteen times before cutting anything, it’s both sad and startling.”

I completely agree with Gruber and the general tenets of this piece. US companies — and Hollywood, in particular — have been appeasing China for a long time in exchange for access to its giant market. This has mostly flown under the radar because it didn’t affect customers elsewhere — but that has changed with the NBA’s PR stumbles this week.

Apple had no justifiable reason for removing the Hong Kong protester app, and the internal email to Apple staff explaining the removal is downright embarrassing. I’m a long-time Apple customer who has spent tens of thousands of dollars at Apple stores over the past decade, but CEO Tim Cook’s decision to side with a dangerous, authoritarian government and against people asking for the very same rights Cook enjoys makes me never want to spend another cent with Apple again.

Hopefully Cook reflects on his own conscience and shows some sign that he believes his own rhetoric on human rights. If he doesn’t, Apple is going down a dangerous path.

I’ve never been more disgusted with Apple than I am today.

Cam Macmurchy

Hi! My name is Cam MacMurchy. I was born and raised in Canada and worked as a journalist before moving to China in 2004.

Today I work in Hong Kong as the Vice President of Corporate Communications of a listed company. I write about marketing, communications, and journalism, as well as technology and productivity, and anything else on my mind! I also occasionally contribute to 9to5Mac, one of the top Apple websites in the world, and run Executive Productivity. Contact me anytime.