Apple and China
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- Apple was said to be a “power tool in China’s vast censorship operation” going so far as to hand over its Chinese user’s personal data. The New York Times said Apple had worked to create “a bureaucracy that ha[d] become a powerful tool in China’s vast censorship operations.” Apple agreed to store the personal data of its Chinese customers on computer servers run by a state-owned Chinese firm. Apple’s compromises with the Chinese government made it “nearly impossible” for them to stop the Chinese government from gaining access to emails, photos, contacts, and location data on millions of Chinese residents. Apple also removed VPNs from the Chinese version of its app store. As of May 2021, Apple CEO Tim Cook was said to be on a “charm offensive in China” and would make frequent “statesman like” visits to meet with top leaders. The company even opened research and development centers just to keep the Chinese government happy.
- Since 2021, Apple has manufactured the majority of its products in China. Apple has also been sourcing more and more raw materials such as chips, wiring and circuit boards from China than elsewhere in recent years.