THE COMPANY'S SILENCE may be tactical : the Chinese government, the conventional thinking goes, does not take well to public rebuke.

Yet Apple's quiet capitulation to tightening censorship in one of its largest markets is still a dangerous precedent.

''Apple's response is tremendously disappointing,'' said  Eva Galperin, director of Cybersecurity at the Electronics Frontier Foundation, a digital rights advocacy group.

''I think it's possible that Apple is playing a bigger role behind the scenes here. But the problem with that is, from the outside it looks exactly like doing nothing.''

This isn't just a blow for the liberties of Apple's customers in China. Authoritarian governments have a tendency to copy what works.

Russia has passed a law curbing VPNs.

Early this year, Apple has pulled down The New York Times app in its store for China, and both Apple and Google removed the LinnkedIn  app from their Russian app stores.

In the United States, President Trump has called for greater legal measures against the pres. And he took the  F.B.I.'s side in the fight over iPhones.

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

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

The Chinese market accounts for a quarter of Apple's sales, and many analysts see the region as a key growth area for the company.

So what was Apple supposed to do?

Jeopardize the the operations for a few apps?

The Honor and Serving of the latest Global Operational Research on Apple, iPhone and Technology and Markets, continues to Part 3.


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