In an extensive paywalled report based on interviews and purported internal Apple documents, The Information revealed that Tim Cook personally forged a five-year agreement with the Chinese government during a series of in-person visits to the country in 2016. The need to push for a closer alliance with the Chinese government reportedly came from a number of Apple executives who were concerned about bad publicity in China and the company’s poor relationship with Chinese officials, who believed that Apple was not contributing enough to the local economy.
Alleged internal documents show that Cook “personally lobbied officials” in China over threats made against Apple Pay, iCloud, and the App Store. Cook set out to use a “memorandum of understanding” between Apple and a powerful Chinese government agency called the National Development and Reform Commission to formally agree to a number of concessions in return for regulatory exemptions. The 1,250-word agreement was written by Apple’s government affairs team in China and stewarded by Cook as he met with Chinese officials.
It was already well-known that Tim Cook and Apple were closely cooperating with the Chinese regime, but it seems they even went as far as begging and groveling to work with the Chinese regime in incredibly close ways. Mind you, that same regime Apple is so keen to closely cooperate with and please is currently executing a genocide to ethnically cleanse China.
I’ve heard all the spineless corporatist excuses a million times. “Apple is just following Chinese law!” No. “Vote with your wallet!” No. “It’s not illegal so who cares if they aid a genocidal regime!” No. We throw minorities in jail for carrying a few grams of drugs, but we let corporations and executives who plot and scheme with genocidal regimes run free. Is that justice?
We have devolved into a society where we just accept this – and that worries me just as much as all the other existential threats we’re facing.