When Tim Cook tried to explain away its actions this week by saying protesters were using HKmap.live 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.