APPLE’s CEO Tim Cook has said that “the companies should have values, exactly just like people do.” Tim Cook is right but it’s difficult to champion the democratic values while doing a business in a country that runs on speech stifling authoritarianism.
It’s not a hidden fact that Apple’s third-largest market is in China and it brings the tech company $44 billion per year only in sales along with the countless ethical headaches.
The anti-government protests in Hong Kong held in last week, in which the Taiwanese “flag emoji” was hid by Apple from its keyboard, those who are tapping away on the island.
It struck the news outlet Quartz, from the Chinese version of its app store, after its aggressive coverage related to the unrest. There was an app designed for Hong Kongers, HKmap.live, to avoid law enforcement, amid the violent crackdowns. Firstly, Apple rejected the app and then it approved it, and finally removed it.
Apple says that its decision to yank HKmap.live, wasn’t a matter of capitulation to Chinese regime but it’s of internal enforcement, because the tool’s tracking function was abused, to attack the police, as well as to commit the crimes in unpatrolled areas of the country, and that also ran counter to company’s guidelines. But Apple’s reversal came just after the ruling party’s official newspaper, the People’s Daily, had declared that Apple’s support for toxic apps made the company an accomplice to the rioters.”