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Apple removes app used in Hong Kong protests after pressure from China

dem

Member
Nov 3, 2017
441
Lol at people trying to boycott China now
They have their fingers in every pie on earth
 

Book One

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,003
Interestingly, this app was initially rejected over there, then approved, then faced a huge backlash, then removed again.

This whole thing is particularly precarious for tech companies thanks to the ties so many have to China. Those hooks are dug deep
 

Thrill_house

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,629
Avoid apple? Easy, been doing it for years. Looks like im done with marvel/Disney too. Wish i could ditch google too
 

Don Fluffles

Member
Oct 28, 2017
3,296
something something democracy and capitalism

it just works!
...only if it's rigged for corporations.

The right believes that capitalism is more important than democracy. Here's a paragraph with some links explaining how it happened from Kotaku:
Sonic The Hedgehog was conceived during a time when the idea of individual rebellion seemed inextricably linked to consumer culture. We can think of the 1980s as a point of large political and economic shifts. The structures that allowed social welfare programs, government support, and government intervention into corporate practice began to dissolve, as there seemed to be no political or philosophical justification for their expansion, especially under the economic crisis of the 1970s. What began to emerge in its place, as a new dominant political ideology, was a "market-driven" thought that argued not only for the deregulation of markets, the freedom of corporate practice, and the dissolving of collective social welfare programs, but did so as part of a larger political project: to reinstate a political and economic elite, whose power was blunted through unions and activist organizing of the mid-20th Century. Political theorists like to call this "Neoliberalism," and we can probably say that it was, above all, a mission to bring back the 1%, and the cultural norms that keep the 1% in power: greed and individualism over collective power; meritocracy, the idea that those in a place of power and success are there because of their individual strengths and not their privilege and inherited wealth; and capitalist realism, the construct that places capitalism as the most rational and "sensical" social-economic system, the only kind of that "makes sense".
The actual links:
Looking back at Neoliberalism
https://www.johnhuntpublishing.com/zer0-books/our-books/capitalist-realism

They'er scary and rage-inducing to read, but I highly recommend them and keep fighting by calling your lawmakers.
 

Maintenance

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,138
I love that when it's Apple or Disney people here immediately say "Well Google does the same!" / "Well Comcast is garbage!", as if one thing excuses the other.
 

jay

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,256
It's weird how companies will almost always try to maximize profit. It's almost as if it's systemic.
 

Kthulhu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,202
Can't wait to see ERA boycott Apple products.
You probably won't.

The smartphone market is a duopoly. Few smartphone companies manufacture their phones without at least part of their supply chain coming from China.

Not to mention network effects and ecosystem lock-in that Apple is so fond of.

The solution is to break up Apple and Google so we actually get some competition in the smartphone market.
 

Mindwipe

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,629
London
It's almost like those of us who have said for years that a single App Store that can be used by despotic regimes to block software were completely right.
 
Jun 20, 2019
601
Hmm. This looks about 75% Phone Warz and 25% ethical disaster.
  1. The statement from Apple never states this was due to pressure from China, but rather pressure from Hong Kong due to ambush of police and making people feel unsafe by identifying where police are absent. That may be bullshit but it isn’t a directive from “China”/ the CCP.
  2. The app was on the store for 5 days. The claim that this was commonly used by protestors seems misleading since practically all protest action thus far happened before the app was available.
  3. The service is still accessible from iPhones as a web service. It’s hard to see why the app is even necessary in that case.
  4. Furthering the point about the web service as an alternative, the app actually represents a risk for the users in that Apple must have records of which Apple accounts have retrieved the app from the App Store, information that Apple could be compelled to turn over to HK authorities. Removing the app removes that legal risk for Apple and the protestors. I have to wonder if demands for user data wasn’t at least on the minds of Apple’s legal department when they advised on this.
On the other hand, it’s true that Apple follows the laws of the countries they do business in, and where those laws are abusive or suppressive they act in ways that are brutal or suppressive. That’s worthy of condemnation.
 

Veliladon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,131
When you have a local presence you have to obey local laws. Remember when Apple was forced to remove Wolf 3D Classic from the Swiss and Austrian app stores? That's not Swiss and Austrians lording their power over Apple, that's just curating content for local laws. There's a difference between curating local stores for local audiences and totally throwing your values under the bus unnecessarily.

The whole Blizzchung thing happened on the APAC stream based out of Taipei. There was no reason to kowtow to China other than to make them happy. There was no legal pressure or anything else. Ditto for Daryl Morey. Apple has a legal obligation or they leave just like any company doing business there. The other two have no obligation, they just threw values of freedom and democracy under the bus for a quick yuan.
 

thewienke

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,767
I don't know if there's a great short term solution here because even our retirement accounts are indirectly dependent upon Chinese money via the stock market and all these companies growing because of their access to China.
 

aevanhoe

Member
Aug 28, 2018
1,311
Yep. Sure, there's little I can do, but it's something I can do.
Quite the contrary, there is a lot you can do. I would suggest using that iPhone, Android, Mac, PC or whatever other device you prefer to write an article or an essay, create a piece of art, make an app, learn something new, send a loved one a message of support, use it for your job and spend money for a good cause.... There are, actually, a lot of things you can do - with your iPhone (or any other device) for Hong Kong, the world, people around you, yourself. A lot of these things are hard and require thinking and effort, but they can change the world, even if only a little. Boycotting Apple or other companies, however, is not “little”, it’s “zero” - it literally accomplishes nothing. Because the only thing Apple can do is leave (or be forced out of) China - which won’t change anything (in fact, it can actually make things even worse).

So, don’t do the easy thing (and boycotting is, actually, very easy, especially if it’s selective - which is the case with most people here) - do the difficult thing and make the world just a little bit better.
 

Spinluck

Avenger
Oct 26, 2017
8,749
Florida
You probably won't.

The smartphone market is a duopoly. Few smartphone companies manufacture their phones without at least part of their supply chain coming from China.

Not to mention network effects and ecosystem lock-in that Apple is so fond of.

The solution is to break up Apple and Google so we actually get some competition in the smartphone market.
Of course I won't.

I can live with that though.

Best I can do is stand up against those who want to further advance capitalism in anyway I can. This shit ain't right.
 

Nappuccino

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
5,071
Quite the contrary, there is a lot you can do. I would suggest using that iPhone, Android, Mac, PC or whatever other device you prefer to write an article or an essay, create a piece of art, make an app, learn something new, send a loved one a message of support, use it for your job and spend money for a good cause.... There are, actually, a lot of things you can do - with your iPhone (or any other device) for Hong Kong, the world, people around you, yourself. A lot of these things are hard and require thinking and effort, but they can change the world, even if only a little. Boycotting Apple or other companies, however, is not “little”, it’s “zero” - it literally accomplishes nothing. Because the only thing Apple can do is leave (or be forced out of) China - which won’t change anything (in fact, it can actually make things even worse).

So, don’t do the easy thing (and boycotting is, actually, very easy, especially if it’s selective - which is the case with most people here) - do the difficult thing and make the world just a little bit better.
I mean, these are things that I'm doing anyway (though it feels futile--so I appreciate the emphasis on these methods being productive). But keeping 1000 bucks from Apple's pocket seems like an easy extra step.
 

effingvic

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,566
The price of capitalism and chasing infinite growth. I'm really disgusted by Apple. It's a shame because I own so many of their products but all the alternatives are also made in China.

We need to bring manufacturing back home.
 

Apharmd

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,386
Just like with Blizzard, I'm done with Apple. I won't be buying any more of their products or anything from the App Store.
 

Somnid

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,741
I mean, is there any alternative that isn't bowing down to China?
Tell your shareholders that you value ethics more than a bit of extra profit. It's not like most of these companies were bleeding without China. Also, if you are a CEO getting pressure from your board for taking a moral stance, you should out them by name.
 

Kthulhu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,202
Tell your shareholders that you value ethics more than a bit of extra profit. It's not like most of these companies were bleeding without China. Also, if you are a CEO getting pressure from your board for taking a moral stance, you should out them by name.
They'd be out by the end of the quarter.
 

Nokagi

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,936
Well this is an easy one for me. I already fucking hate Apple. I don't own or never will own anything they make. Such a shit company.
 

Somnid

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,741
They'd be out by the end of the quarter.
That's why you name and shame. I bet you couldn't tell me a single Apple board member outside of Tim Cook. And that's like knowing who the president is but no senators. But if I started repeating a name do you think the press would start asking questions? Do you think people would start protesting? This is exactly how the Koch brothers got their fame.
 

Kthulhu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,202
That's why you name and shame. I bet you couldn't tell me a single Apple board member outside of Tim Cook. And that's like knowing who the president is but no senators. But if I started repeating a name do you think the press would start asking questions? Do you think people would start protesting? This is exactly how the Koch brothers got their fame.
It's public information. Not a secret who's on their board.

It ultimate wouldn't make a difference. These people aren't gonna choose between a billion potential customers and their job.