Who cares about human rights if it means losing money in China?
That seems to be the attitude of Silicon Valley tech juggernaut Apple, Inc.
Tim Cook, CEO of the California-based multi-national company, seems determined to stay in the good graces of the ruling Chinese Communist Party despite his “woke” rhetoric at home and the CCP’s brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
Cheap labor and access to China’s vast consumer population, roughly three times the size of the U.S., has motivated the company’s executive management to help the CCP censor Hong Kong protestors and supportive human rights activists.
China has successfully usurped the formerly independent Asian financial capital, but courageous opposition groups have been attempting to organize online.
Their chief short-term goal is to rally support against China’s new “national security” law ahead of a key September election, assuming it will have merit.
The law redefines even simples acts of dissent, such as waving an American flag, as conspiring with a foreign power or, in some cases, terrorism.
The Hong Kong opposition groups created an online polling and voting platform called “PopVote,” along with apps to further the effort.
But Apple, and later Google, deleted the apps without warning.
“We think it is being censored by Apple,” said Edwin Chu, an IT advisor for PopVote said.
Apple first said the apps were rejected because of technical issues. The company then went silent after denying repeated attempts to amend and resubmit them.
Unlike other Silicon Valley tech giants, Apple has refused to deny whether it’s handing over user data to Hong Kong’s new communist authorities.
Even European Union officials have taken note and are pushing back — sort of.
The EU recently introduced new rules and regulations intended to force more transparency into Apple’s app-related decisions and prevent Apple and Google from deleting apps without cause.
The EU is known more for its anti-democratic impulses against member-states over national sovereignty issues — especially mass immigration — than it is for supporting individual rights.
Indeed, siding against Apple and Google seems counterintuitive given the multi-national monopolies share the same left-wing globalist political objectives.
While not expressly naming China, EU leaders said they’re concerned about the lack of market competition.
“We need to ensure that Apple’s rules do not distort competition in markets where Apple is competing with other app developers,” said Margrethe Vestager, the EU executive vice-president.