Apple Dancing to China’s Censorship Tune

“Apple threatened at least one developer with banishment from the company’s lucrative App Store if they didn’t remove all search engine returns regarding COVID-19 from their library application. LBRY bills itself as ‘an open, free, and fair network for digital content,’ designed to circumvent social media and government controls. But the company told Twitter owner and CEO Elon Musk on Monday that, ‘During Covid, Apple demanded our apps filter some search terms from being returned. If we did not filter the terms, our apps would not be allowed in the store.’ Musk quickly replied, ‘What terms?’ LBRY answered, ‘Apple disallowed almost anything related to Covid, especially vaccines or human origins of the virus.’ Musk tweeted back, ‘Secret suppression of free speech by Apple. Customers were never told. What is going on here?’ So far, there has been no public response from the notoriously tight-lipped company, but I can tell you what’s going on here in just two words: Communist China. According to Apple’s latest quarterly results, the Greater China region (including the mainland, Hong Kong, and Taiwan) generated more than $15 billion in revenue over the previous three-month reporting period. That was nearly 20% of the company’s quarterly revenue. So, when communist strongman Xi Jinping says ‘Jump!’ Apple CEO Tim Cook probably doesn’t even bother to ask, ‘How high?’ before he starts making himself airborne. In 2019, Apple notoriously removed an app that Hong Kong protesters used to track where police were headed next to crack protesters’ skulls. Just in the last few days, Apple handicapped iPhone’s nifty AirDrop feature–but only in Communist China, [thus hindering protesters’ efforts to bypass the nation’s draconian control of social media] On Nov. 29, Elon Musk tweeted, ‘Apple has also threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store but won’t tell us why.’”

“Apple Blackmailed Developer,” PJMedia, Nov. 28, 2022