Apple, the Chinese Communist Party, and containing VPN Services
Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
It is abundantly clear that nations, religious groups, politically correctness, and other forces, seek to stem the freedom of social media, the internet, and other forms of communication outside of traditional limitations. Yet, it is disturbing that Apple and Facebook, to name just two major companies, are abiding by non-freedom forces. This is based on economic issues and various political agendas of many nations.
Apple fully understands that Virtual Private Network (VPN) services enable nationals in China to bypass the “Great Firewall,” regulated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In other words, people in China could use VPNs in order to view international websites impacted by the “Great Firewall.” However, it appears that commerce for Apple is more important than civil liberties.
Of course, countless nations restrict freedom and just like major capitalist companies that sell and trade with countries that persecute openly, the world of communication and technology are equally open to backtracking on civil liberties. Despite this, it is depressing when major companies like Apple appear to “sell their soul” by appeasing authoritarian tendencies.
Reuters reports, “Apple Inc (AAPL.O) is removing virtual private network (VPN) services from its app store in China, VPN service providers said on Saturday, accusing the U.S. tech giant of bowing to pressure from Beijing to comply with stringent cyberspace regulations.”
Apple targeted the China market extensively but with this comes political manipulation by the CCP. Indeed, for Apple, the China market is the main market for this company outside of America. On top of this, a data center by Apple is being established in China where this company must abide by regulations in relation to cloud storage. Likewise, other business ventures by Apple are ongoing in China. Therefore, the CCP is manipulating “the economic angle” with Apple based on the dragon swallowing up issues related to human rights and openness.
The New York Times reports, “While internet crackdowns often peak every five years, ahead of a key Chinese Communist Party congress, this year’s efforts cover fresh ground, a likely indication that stricter controls of things like VPNs will persist after the congress this autumn. Earlier this month, China also began a partial block of the Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp.”
ExpressVPN and StarVPN were notified by Apple that their respective software would be removed forthwith from the China App Store. According to Apple, the grounds of this is based on contents deemed illegal by the authorities in China.
ExpressVPN responded by stating, “We’re disappointed in this development, as it represents the most drastic measure the Chinese government has taken to block the use of VPNs to date, and we are troubled to see Apple aiding China’s censorship efforts.”
The internet revolution, social media, and other forms of mass communication based on new technology are increasingly being undermined by an array of factors. This reality applies irrespective if based on political correctness that seeks to crush open views in so-called democratic nations, Sharia Islamic states like Iran and Saudi Arabia, one party states including the CCP in China, and various agendas that claim “hate crime” at the drop of a hat in order to stifle genuine concerns. Therefore, it is essential that companies like Apple don’t sell their soul for commercial concerns when it comes to clamping down on human rights by stealth.
Sadly, it appears that Apple is being constrained openly by the CCP. In turn, freedom of information and other areas are being denied to the people of China based on Apple – and others – complying with the diktats of a one-party state.
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