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While Criticizing Trump, Apple Appeases China With VPN Decision

Apple’s Tim Cook seems to reserve his harshest criticisms for Trump, while China continues to crack down on free speech and dissent…


In a move that surprised the tech community and many in Washington, D.C., Apple announced it’s removing virtual private network (VPN) services from its app store in China.

What does that mean and why does it matter? VPNs “allow users to bypass China’s so-called ‘Great Firewall’ aimed at restricting access to overseas sites,” according to Reuters. TechCrunch has more:

The App Store purge is hugely impactful because VPNs represent the only way that a China-based individual can bypass state censorship controls to access the internet without restrictions. The Chinese government effectively illegalized VPNs when new rules issued in January required them to receive government approval in order to operate.

So while Apple caved to China’s demands that its people not be able to access the full internet – complete with its wide array of perspectives, opinions and world views – the tech giant is simultaneously criticizing the White House for its decisions on a wide array of topics, including immigration, the transgender troop ban, and the Paris Climate Accords.

Apple appears far more comfortable being an outspoken critic of the Trump administration than of China, an authoritarian, communist regime with a list of human rights violations that often make headlines. One doesn’t have to look far to find independent news sources and global organizations condemning China’s stricter immigration policies, history of polluting the environment, and abysmal record on LGBT rights.

And yet, despite Cook’s decision to move Apple’s production – and hundreds of thousands of American jobs – to China, he reserves his harshest criticisms for the U.S. government – not China’s.