But in China, it’s a very different story.
Back in 2017, the Chinese government asked Apple to remove the New York Times app from the Chinese App Store; Apple complied.
Later the same year, China insisted that Apple remove more than 400 VPN apps from the App Store; Apple did so.
Again in 2017, the Chinese Ministry of Public Security asked Apple to remove Skype; the Cupertino company again did as requested.
Yesterday, it removed access to the Quartz news app; and today we’ve learned that it has, with a second U-turn, banned a Hong Kong protest app .
Even more controversially, China introduced a new law in 2017 which required foreign companies to use Chinese companies to store user data. That meant Apple had to partner with a local company for the storage of iCloud data. Apple insists that data is encrypted and only it holds the keys, but there is understandable skepticism about this. And even if it’s true that Apple will require a court order before permitting Chinese law enforcement to access user data, that’s a mere formality in China.
For a company that claims to do the right thing, none of these things are a great look.
Very interesting read with spot-on observations of how Apple is largely dependent on China.