Apple, China’s “Great Firewall”
BEIJING» Moves by business giants Apple and Amazon to stop consumers from using censorshipskirting apps in China have renewed questions about the extent U.S. companies are willing to work with authorities to operate in the vast but tightly controlled Chinese market.
Apple chief Tim Cook attempted to defend the company’s decision to remove dozens of apps designed to circumvent censorship from the Chinese version of its app store.
In an earning’s call for Apple’s quarterly financial report, Cook said China tightened its rules on virtual private networks, or VPNs, in 2015, and was now making a renewed push to enforce them.
“We would obviously rather not remove the apps, but like we do in other countries, we follow the law wherever we do business,” he said last week.
By helping Chinese authorities curb the use of
Emany popular VPNs U.S. tech companies are seen as helping the Communist Party bolster what is already the world’s most elaborate and sophisticated censorship regime, often called the “Great Firewall.”
In addition to blocking the likes of Google and
EFacebook, China’s censors shape what is published online, pull content deemed politically sensitive and, according to a recent study, even intercept images being sent via chat apps.
Cook argued that pulling some apps beat pulling out of the market.