As noted by AppleInsider: Senator Josh Hawley (Republican) has written an open letter to Apple’s Tim Cook, and amongst other topics, is accusing the company of helping China suppress free speech. Here’s some key points from the letter:
° Apple has not condemned the treatment of workers who manufacture its products in China, including the physical violence inflicted upon them by Chinese law enforcement in Zhengzhou. When will Apple issue a statement condemning this treatment? And why has it not done so already?
° Given the Chinese Communist Party’s commitment to a zero-COVID policy, please detail the material risks associated with Apple’s continued dependency on China for the manufacture of its products. How does Apple communicate these risks to its stakeholders?
° If China were to invade Taiwan, what impact would this have on Apple’s ability to manufacture and sell its products? How does Apple communicate these risks to its stakeholders?
° Please detail Apple’s plan to diversify its supply chain and production networks, including any plans to expand manufacturing of its products in the United States with American workers.
° Why did Apple modify the AirDrop feature in China in a manner that makes it more difficult for Chinese protesters to communicate amongst themselves? Please provide all communication between Apple and Chinese Communist Party officials concerning the AirDrop feature in the iOS 16.1.1 update.
Hawley also adds: At the same time, it appears that Apple might be importing this model of speech control to the United States: reports indicate that your company might deplatform Twitter from the App Store as a consequence of the free speech policies implemented by new ownership.
When it comes to Apple and politics, Bloomberg reports that Apple CEO Tim Cook is in Washington to meet with top Republican lawmakers, according to people familiar with his visit, as the company seeks to forge ties with the GOP ahead of the party’s takeover of the House early next year.