DESPITE THE BAN, Chinese Internet users might still be better off with Apple in China than with it outside.

It maybe naive to expect Apple to publicly take on the Chinese government.

Sure, it must be the world's  most valuable company, with extensive investments and operations in China. But Apple is also just foreign company - it must obey local laws, and it must watch for its bottom line.

The Chinese market accounts for a quarter of Apple's sales, and analysts see the region as a key growth area for the company. So what was Apple supposed to do? Jeoppardize its operations over a few apps?

What's more, Apple silence isn't unusual. While American tech companies frequently criticize decisions by American officials, they appear loath to do so in China.

Same weekend, at about the same time, Amazon also began banning VPN services from the Chinese version of its AWS cloud computing platform.

Facebook has been exploring ways of getting into the Chinese government's good graces.

Google, pulled many of its services out of the Chinese market in 2010, blaming censorship, but it has lately been mulling ways to get back.

There is also a moral defense of Apple's decision to give in without a public fight : Despite the VPN ban.

Chinese Internet users might still be better off with Apple in China than with it outside.

Its app store still provides people people access to millions of apps that they might not find elsewhere in China. And Apple's own communication apps in China remain free government censorship.

For instance, Messages, Apples Texting √°pp, and FaceTime, its videos and phone-calling app, are protected by end-to-end encryption, allowing Chinese users to communicate freely.

But that maybe of limited utility.

''It will only get worse,'' said Xiao Qiang, a  Chinese Human Rights activist and an adjunct professor at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Information. Mr. Xiao sees the latest crackdowns as the beginning of a new wave of  Internet censorship in China.

''They should say something,'' he said.

''They are a U.S. company, after all. And they're a global company, upholding standards of privacy and speech in many, many markets outside China. So if they have to do things differently in China, they should have some public explanation for why -

Because that attitude could matter globally, including in the U.S.''

!WOW! thanks author and researcher Farhad Manjoo.


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!