Apple - Dancing To The Devil's Tune In China
AirDrop is a file-sharing app on iPhones and other Apple Devices. It relies upon a direct phone-to-phone connection. It bypasses the Internet.
It has been used extensively by pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong and in mainland China, because the regime’s extensive internet control mechanisms, referred to as the Great Firewall of China, are useless against it. It lets people organize and share information without government censorship or control.
Or it did.
Earlier this month, just before Xi Jinping began to rachet up COVID control restrictions in Chinese cities, Apple restricted the use of AirDrop in China.
On November 9, 2022 Apple released a new version of its mobile operating system, iOS 16.1.1, to customers worldwide. The update included a change which applied only to iPhones sold in mainland China:
AirDrop can now only be set to receive messages from everyone for 10 minutes, before switching off. There’s no longer a way to keep the “everyone” setting on permanently on Chinese iPhones. The change doesn’t apply anywhere else but China.
Apple apparently has a problem with free speech, but at least it is consistent. While it is working hand in glove with the CCP to muzzle dissent in China, Apple is also attacking Twitter for fear its purchase by Elon Musk means people will be able to speak their minds in this country too. Apple is now threatening to remove Twitter from Apple’s App store. Such a move would cause major damage to Twitter and dramatically limit its utility.
Apple’s actions may be horrifying. They are not surprising. Apple is effectively owned by the CCP. It produces the lion’s share of its products in a handful of mega factories in China, which the Chinese could easily shutter at will. Apple sells millions of iPhones, tablets, and computers in China every year. If it loses access to the Chinese market, Apple dies.
Apple made a deal with the Devil. It must now dance to the Devil’s tune, even if that means silencing free speech and crushing democracy.
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