Tensions between Apple and China continue as state media rips lack of Messages censoring

Posted:
in iPhone
Chinese state media outlets have been trashing Apple for failing to cut down on Messages content related to pornography and gambling.

Shangzou China


According to a Wall Street Journal report Tuesday, several state-affiliated media outlets in China, including state-controlled news agency Xinhua, have ripped Apple in recent days for not doing enough to filter prohibited content out of iMessage. CCTV went on to criticize Apple for allowing illegal gambling apps in the App Store in that country, under the guise of lottery apps.

It has often been a custom in China, the Journal said, for state media to launch campaigns against companies during times of trade-related tension.

The dispute illustrates the perils of an American company operating in a country without a free speech tradition, as the Chinese government is pushing Apple to intervene to block certain text messages, containing pornography, pirated content or other illegal activity. Apple has traditionally valued user privacy over such concerns.

Apple and the trade war

The controversy comes as trade tension between the governments of the U.S. and China grows and Apple fears being caught in the middle.

Apple's strategy has been to do all it can to keep the peace while maintaining strong relations with both governments. Tim Cook met with President Trump at the White House April 25, which the White House described as a "good meeting," and at some point this spring the Trump Administration reportedly promised Cook that the iPhone would be exempted from any tariffs directed at China.

Meanwhile, Cook has attempted to smooth relations with Beijing. He visited China in March and met with various government officials. Workers at Foxconn, according to the New York Times last month, have dubbed Cook's efforts "Red Apple."

The fog of (trade) war

With China a major market for Apple's products and also the place where the majority of its supply chain and manufacturing operations are located, the country is very important to Apple's business. But a trade war, as threatened by the president's tariffs, has the potential to bring all sorts of complications to Apple's plans.

Even if the iPhone ends up exempted from tariffs, the restrictions could affect Apple in other ways, from other Apple products to components or even accessories falling under the tariffs.

The barrage from state-run media is just the latest possible unintended consequence of the current trade tensions.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,748member
    I sometimes wish that Apple's profits and sales weren't so dependent on China. Increasingly, one gets the feeling that the company is being held hostage to their whims.

    In a twisted way, the fact that Google and FB are not in China works to their advantage on the stock price front.
    muthuk_vanalingamJWSCivanholswatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 15
    georgie01georgie01 Posts: 198member
    I suspect (or hope) Apple would leave these areas of business in China before completely sacrificing their ideals. Their stock would take an initial dive but the company itself would remain overall healthy.
    edited July 31 magman1979tmaycornchipJWSCivanh
  • Reply 3 of 15
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,641member
    I still have a hard time understanding how one could effectively censor nudity in an app like iMessage.   

    In any event if Apple wants to survive they need to get manufacturing out of China.   No matter what the USA does there will be a war area of the world.   It IS the primary reason China built up its economy.   The government there doesn't give a damn about its people, they want money to build up an army to settle old scores.  There educational system is built around conditioning the populace to blame Chinas woes on the outside world.  

    It is amazing that so many companies have been gullible about China and so willing to to put all of their eggs in one basket.   It wont last and frankly the saber rattling has already started.  The first to go will be Taiwan with Japan a close second.  I wouldn't be surprised if most of Indochina gets occupied at some point.   The writing is on the wall, hopefully the idiots doing business in China wake up and get manufacturing out if China.  

    Sadly Apple has become too greedy to care.  When SHTF in China Apple will suffer big time maybe even collapse as a viable company.    Of course liberals will blame this on Trump even though China has been working on this for decades.  

    Censorship isn't a China problem, we suffer from it here in the USA, often as the result of big companies creating arbitrary policies of discrimination.   The problem is rather the government of China and its intentions with respect to other countries.  Sadly this will just lead to more suffering for the good people in China that really could use a break.  
    tallest skiljbdragon
  • Reply 4 of 15
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,884member
    If the only way to sell iPhones in China is to sacrifice Chinese user privacy, then I predict Apple will sacrifice Chinese user privacy. They can basically create a China-only set of services/servers that have none of the privacy protections available in the rest of the world. 

    If people in China don't like it, they can change their government. 

    SpamSandwichradarthekatmac_dogolsjbdragonjony0
  • Reply 5 of 15
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,238member
    blastdoor said:
    If the only way to sell iPhones in China is to sacrifice Chinese user privacy, then I predict Apple will sacrifice Chinese user privacy. They can basically create a China-only set of services/servers that have none of the privacy protections available in the rest of the world. 

    If people in China don't like it, they can change their government. 

    And the odds they'll face another revolution increases every time the PRC cracks down on a large swath of their population.
    tallest skil
  • Reply 6 of 15
    nunzynunzy Posts: 662member
     China blames Apple for pornography and gambling. Maybe they should look in the mirror instead.


    magman1979mac_dogolsjbdragon
  • Reply 7 of 15
    georgie01 said:
    I suspect (or hope) Apple would leave these areas of business in China before completely sacrificing their ideals. Their stock would take an initial dive but the company itself would remain overall healthy.
    What about supply chain and manufacturing? It takes years to move from one country to another, isn't it? I don't see it as a practical solution to move completely out of china. On all fronts (effort, time, cost), it would be a HUGE undertaking for even Apple to pull it off.
    cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 15
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    georgie01 said:
    I suspect (or hope) Apple would leave these areas of business in China before completely sacrificing their ideals. Their stock would take an initial dive but the company itself would remain overall healthy.
    What about supply chain and manufacturing? It takes years to move from one country to another, isn't it? I don't see it as a practical solution to move completely out of china. On all fronts (effort, time, cost), it would be a HUGE undertaking for even Apple to pull it off.

    One recent article on this site was about how Apple is now procuring all the little components (screws, fasteners etc) themselves and supplying them to their assembly contractors, rather than letting the assembly contractors procure that stuff themselves.

    The article said it was about cost reduction and responsible sourcing, but it would also gives Apple a full picture of every little supply chain thing that goes in to their products, the first step to being able to move it all.

    Not saying they are going to, but if you were making contingency plans, simply identifying the scope of the work would be a first step.
    radarthekatcornchipwatto_cobrajbdragon
  • Reply 9 of 15
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,638member
    If you are in Rome, you have to act Roman.Same goes for China. China's ambition is to become world power and it will not allow anything/anyone that disrupt that path. So, Apple is just a one company and if apple wants to do business in China than do what Chinese tell you to do. On other side of argument, every country in world should unite to fight China in trade and other global things to level field for everyone.
    ivanh
  • Reply 10 of 15
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    georgie01 said:
    I suspect (or hope) Apple would leave these areas of business in China before completely sacrificing their ideals.
    It’s a company. It doesn’t have ideals. Only people have ideals, and they can be bought quite easily.
    blastdoor said:
    If people in China don't like it, they can change their government. 
    >no guns
    >no speech
    >no voting
    >no association
    >dissent is punished by execution

    “LOL just, like, change the government ha ha”
    edited July 31 muthuk_vanalingamcornchipjbdragon
  • Reply 11 of 15
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,884member
    georgie01 said:
    I suspect (or hope) Apple would leave these areas of business in China before completely sacrificing their ideals.
    It’s a company. It doesn’t have ideals. Only people have ideals, and they can be bought quite easily.
    blastdoor said:
    If people in China don't like it, they can change their government. 
    >no guns
    >no speech
    >no voting
    >no association
    >dissent is punished by execution

    “LOL just, like, change the government ha ha”
    Oh boo hoo.

    It's been done before. Some prominent examples (but there are more):

    France 1789
    Russian 1917; 1991
    China 1911, ...various..., 1946

  • Reply 12 of 15
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 6,036member
    wizard69 said:

    Sadly Apple has become too greedy to care.  When SHTF in China Apple will suffer big time maybe even collapse as a viable company.    Of course liberals will blame this on Trump even though China has been working on this for decades.  

    Censorship isn't a China problem, we suffer from it here in the USA, often as the result of big companies creating arbitrary policies of discrimination.  
    1) Yes and conservatives will deny their role in building China up via the executive class exporting US manufacturing jobs to it.

    2) Seems you're willfully misunderstanding what "censorship" means. A private company restricting the terms of use on its private platform is not government censorship, which is the topic and problem in China. So if some crazy alt-right a-holes get kicked off Twitter for saying asshole things to other users, and Twitter removes them, that is no more "censorship!" than if they did it here on AI and Mike banned them.
  • Reply 13 of 15
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 252member
    wizard69 said:

    Sadly Apple has become too greedy to care.  When SHTF in China Apple will suffer big time maybe even collapse as a viable company.    Of course liberals will blame this on Trump even though China has been working on this for decades.  

    Censorship isn't a China problem, we suffer from it here in the USA, often as the result of big companies creating arbitrary policies of discrimination.  
    1) Yes and conservatives will deny their role in building China up via the executive class exporting US manufacturing jobs to it.

    2) Seems you're willfully misunderstanding what "censorship" means. A private company restricting the terms of use on its private platform is not government censorship, which is the topic and problem in China. So if some crazy alt-right a-holes get kicked off Twitter for saying asshole things to other users, and Twitter removes them, that is no more "censorship!" than if they did it here on AI and Mike banned them.

    1) Not getting why you bring in ‘conservatives’ as the villains of exporting jobs.  I’d say exporting US jobs has been an equal opportunity endeavor for corporate leaders on both ends of the political spectrum.  Ask yourself why blue collar voters have largely abandoned the Democratic Party.

    2) I think Wizard69 understands the meaning of censorship perfectly well.  It’s scary when a government does it because they can bring force of arms to bear if someone doesn’t comply.  But it is no less insidious when news organizations and other non-governmental actors self censor ‘for the betterment’ of the people.  We in the US like to think of our nation as being free of censorship.  But that is either willful thinking or simple delusion.

  • Reply 14 of 15
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    blastdoor said:
    Oh boo hoo.
    Not an argument.
    It's been done before.
    Not without guns. Not in a total surveillance state.
    Some prominent examples (but there are more):

    France 1789
    Russian 1917; 1991
    China 1911, ...various..., 1946
    All of your examples prove me right. They had guns. They weren’t under 24 hour surveillance. The collapse of the Soviet Union wasn’t a revolution in the first place.
    1) Yes and conservatives will deny their role in building China up via the executive class exporting US manufacturing jobs to it.
    What role? Here’s where you’re going to pretend that the Republican Party of the US is “conservative”, isn’t it?
    A private company restricting the terms of use on its private platform is not government censorship
    Thanks for asserting something that no one questioned. You fundamentally do not comprehend the topic of discussion.
    So if some crazy alt-right a-holes get kicked off Twitter for saying asshole things to other users, and Twitter removes them, that is no more censorship!
    It’s explicitly censorship. You just don’t know what the word means, and you have no legal conception of what is being sold as a product here. Keep pretending that social media and search engines are magically “exempt” from these rules. No, seriously. Keep doing it. We’re going to bust these fucking monopolies wide open and scatter the corporations to the winds.
    edited July 31
  • Reply 15 of 15
    nunzynunzy Posts: 662member
    wood1208 said:
    If you are in Rome, you have to act Roman.Same goes for China. China's ambition is to become world power and it will not allow anything/anyone that disrupt that path. So, Apple is just a one company and if apple wants to do business in China than do what Chinese tell you to do. On other side of argument, every country in world should unite to fight China in trade and other global things to level field for everyone.
    Are you saying that Apple should oppose the policies of the United States and instead support the goals of China?

    Should Apple design military hardware for China?
    edited August 2
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