Big Brother Apple Helps ChiComs Crack Down
Why does the world’s most valuable company keep appeasing the evil Communist Chinese regime?
These days, we wonder whether Apple CEO Tim Cook wishes he could stuff his company’s iconic 1984 television ad down the memory hole.
We wonder this because the Apple of 2022 isn’t the Apple of 1984. Not even close. In fact, today’s Apple has morphed from the hero of that remarkable one-minute ad into its villain. Indeed, today’s Apple is just the opposite of the young, athletic, independent, and liberty-loving heroine who winds up and heaves that sledgehammer into the giant screen-rendered image of Big Brother, there to strike a blow against his message about “the first glorious anniversary of the Information Purification Directives” and how their “unification of thought is more powerful a weapon than any fleet or army on earth.”
That Apple was bold and fresh. It was smallish, plucky, and innovative. Today’s Apple is grim, gray, massive, and malevolent. Today’s Apple is Big Brother.
We say this because today’s Apple seems to continually side with the powerful and the totalitarian.
In 2019, Apple removed an app from its App Store that helped freedom protesters in Hong Kong track the whereabouts of the Communist Chinese security forces. As The New York Times reported, “Apple said it was withdrawing the app, HKmap.live, from its App Store just days after approving it because the authorities in Hong Kong said protesters were using it to attack the police in the semiautonomous city.”
Got that? Apple wanted its critics to believe that the unarmed protesters were attacking the heavily armed police. Uh-huh.
Now let’s skip ahead to present-day China, where Apple has removed its AirDrop feature from the country’s iPhones. As the Washington Examiner’s Zachary Faria writes:
With protests spreading across China over Xi Jinping’s zero-COVID strategy, Apple has restricted the use of AirDrop on iPhones and Apple devices in the country. Protesters use AirDrop to bypass the communist regime’s censorship of the internet and communicate directly with other protesters by “forming a local network of devices that don’t need the internet to communicate,” according to Quartz.
Apple’s new iOS update, released on Nov. 9, restricts that feature. Now, users can only set up their AirDrop to accept messages from everyone for just 10 minutes, whereas previously it could be permanent. Now, protesters would have to go into their phones every 10 minutes to reset their AirDrop settings to continue to communicate. There would be reasonable explanations for this iOS change if it was uniform, but, according to Quartz, the change only applies to iPhones sold in mainland China.
All this is happening at the same time as speech-suppressing “journalists” are trying to pressure Apple into dumping the world’s most influential free-speech app from the App Store. That would be Elon Musk’s Twitter. Why? Because they’re afraid of free speech, and they’re afraid of Musk, and they’re afraid he might share some of the dirty little secrets that Big Tech has been using to suppress speech and control the marketplace of ideas.
“Sunlight,” said former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, “is the best disinfectant.”
Apple products have revolutionized human life, often for better, but occasionally for worse. And by and large, the company has been driven by profit motive rather than politics. But the two are often inseparable, and when they come into conflict, companies like Apple tend to take the path of least resistance — and that path is almost invariably either a leftist one or a statist one.
In this case, the company is feeling the considerable heat of the Communist Chinese, who not only entice American companies with a market of 1.4 billion people but also hold a massive manufacturing and supply-chain hammer (and sickle) over their heads. Cross the ChiComs by siding with freedom-fighting Hong Kongers or COVID lockdown dissidents, and it could be very bad for the bottom line.
Today’s Apple is the world’s most valuable company, with revenues of $378 billion, net income of $100 billion, and a market capitalization of $2.65 trillion. It didn’t get that way by standing up for free speech, freedom of expression, religious liberty, and other human rights. It got that way by bending its knee to the rapacious, murderous, freedom-crushing Communist Chinese.
We should remember this going forward, and we should use it to filter every utterance that comes out of its sanctimonious CEO’s mouth.
UPDATE: Perhaps the scummiest thing about Apple’s China-only AirDrop restriction is that its release notes didn’t even mention this change. The notes only listed “Bug fixes and security updates.” So Apple tricked the Chinese people into downgrading their iPhones’ capabilities, all to appease their thuggish communist masters.
- free speech
- Big Tech
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