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FCC Commissioner Slams U.S. Tech Companies Giving in to Demands of Communist China

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly called U.S. companies ceding to Chinese demands “extremely problematic” at a tech forum on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly expressed concerns regarding American tech companies giving in to internet restrictions put in place by China’s communist government.

Speaking on a panel at the Technology Policy Institute Aspen Forum, Commissioner O’Rielly said it is “extremely problematic” how American tech companies have agreed to these demands.

“China already does these things [restrict the internet] and U.S. companies have already acquiesced, in many instances, to their structure and that’s extremely problematic,” O’Rielly said, responding to the moderator’s question about Chinese restrictions and limits on internet freedom. “You said ‘China is a success.’ China is not a success if you believe in liberty or freedom, but in terms of market control and designate how things are going to work globally as a whole, then maybe.”

“But their totalitarian approach to internet policy, they have taken an approach that the U.S. hasn’t, and that being engaged and being in the leadership in these international organizations is critical,” O’Rielly continued. “It’s our role as a world leader to counter this and use all of our tools.”

The comments from Commissioner O’Rielly could be seen as a slight at one of America’s largest tech companies, Apple, who has recently given in to communist China’s internet regulations. In January, the company removed The New York Times app from their Chinese app store. In July, Apple announced a new data center to comply with the country’s regulations, and in August announced that data center would be overseen by communist party leaders. Apple has also removed Virtual Private Networks (VPN) from their Chinese app store to comply with government regulations.