Apple recently pulled VPN apps from its Chinese App Store in order to comply with regulations instituted by the government. Since Chinese citizens already face a lot of censorship and stricter internet controls, some have criticized Apple for its move. This week, CEO Tim Cook defended the decision.
Though it would prefer not to be removing apps that don’t violate its own guidelines, Apple says it must comply with regulations.
We would obviously rather not remove the apps, but like we do in other countries, we follow the law wherever we do business. We strongly believe in participating in markets and bringing benefits to customers is the best interest of the folks there and in other countries as well.
It’s easy to see why Apple would give in to demands from the Chinese government, but that hasn’t kept people from criticizing the move. Farhad Manjoo of the New York Times, for example, called “Apple’s quiet capitulation to tightening censorship” a “dangerous precedent.”