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Apple is assessing a new Hong Kong security law that makes "subversion" of the government illegal and raises concerns about the criminalization of protests, reports Bloomberg.

AppleLogoHK.jpg

China last week implemented legislation allowing local authorities to supervise and regulate internet access in Hong Kong. The new measures criminalize acts that were previously considered protected speech under Hong Kong law, such as the ongoing protests.

In a statement, Apple said that it already requires content requests from local law enforcement authorities to be submitted through the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty between the U.S. and Hong Kong. Apple also says that it has not received requests for Hong Kong user data since the law went into effect last week, though it is under assessment.
"Apple has always required that all content requests from local law enforcement authorities be submitted through the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty in place between the United States and Hong Kong," the company said. Under that process, "the U.S. Department of Justice reviews Hong Kong authorities' requests for legal conformance."
Earlier today, tech companies that include WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter said they would pause the processing of requests for user data from Hong Kong law enforcement agencies due to the implementation of the new security law.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Article Link: Apple 'Assessing' Hong Kong National Security Law as Other Tech Companies Pause Data Requests
 
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simonmet

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It is my opinion that Western corporations and companies have built China into the economic powerhouse that it is today, or at least accelerated it rapidly. They did so in order to exploit their massive poor workforce and poor environmental standards to boost their profits.

China is a state that is extremely hostile to Western values and is actively engaging in cyber warfare against us, but the capitalists don’t care so long as their profits keep rolling in. Granted, the US and Russia has or is doing similarly, but China is prepared to treat its people worse than they treat animals, which is to say: extremely poorly.

Tim Cook and Apple simply can’t claim any moral high ground regarding their social equality, BLM or sexuality positions in the US and other western countries when they support a regime which denies basic human rights, transparency, the ability to question authority; and engages in genocide to name a few.

If Apple has the courage to remove a headphone jack and move to ARM, they should have the courage to get out of China.
 
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thisisnotmyname

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Oct 22, 2014
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It certainly is easier for a company like Facebook with nearly zero penetration into China to take this moral stand than a company like Apple with both important supply chain and consumer market there.

That's not to say Apple should comply but the stakes are much higher for Apple to take the stand. Just pointing out that doing the right thing will be much more painful for Apple before everyone starts taking their shots with various political comparisons. I respect those that do the right thing when it is difficult more than those who do the right thing when it is simple.
 
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nicho

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Feb 15, 2008
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If Apple has the courage to remove a headphone jack and move to ARM, they should have the courage to get out of China.

AKA the courage to implode their business. Get real.

You might find reflection useful on the link between the status of the USA as an economic powerhouse, “hot issues” like equality today and corporations who had and have no obligation to consider those issues while striving to make money for their shareholders.

Why should Apple be treated any differently to other corporations? Because there are forums like this for keyboard warriors to write this sort of dross on their shiny iPhones?
 
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wankey

macrumors 6502a
Aug 24, 2005
573
218
Firstly - China is a really complicated country, learn history first before trying to make blanket statements like "China treats its citizens worst than America". Don't forget America was founded on the backs of slaves after a campaign of genocide against the natives.

Every country has bloody histories, but since we're the victors of the world, we tend to write our own history as "good" and everyone else as evil. Don't forget the opium that the British forced down China's throat, which pretty much bankrupted China and when they tried to stop the opium trade, the west went in and took out the people trying to stop it. Ever wonder why HK was annexed in the first place?

In any case - politics, world relations and history are really complex topics. Saying one regime as bad, whilst painting another regime as good is really an act in naivete. Is the CCP going to allow HK to be reduced to ashes by protestors and unrest? No. Will the national security law solve the protestors and unrest? Most likely. Will it trample on human rights to stop the destruction? Absolutely. But we don't have to look far across the ocean to really see what's going on here at home, we do the same to our citizens.

We've arrested over 10,000 US protestors alone in the last month. The army was called in within 2 days of riots in the US, 30,000 troops on the ground yet it seems like that's all but forgotten as we turn our simplistic view points towards another monster to hate.

We hate our own protestors yet American politicians call HK unrests as a "beautiful picture".

All I'm saying is, things are complex, look into things with a multi-vectored lens, rather than with a black and white lens. Then we can have a real discussion. Otherwise, this is just group think and mob mentality - which leads to more dangerous paths.

Secondly - Apple is a business, and businesses are in it to make money (at least what my highschool teacher taught me). Everything Apple does is to make money, whether you believe it or not. Apple's not out to please you, or make you feel better for free, everything they do is in an attempt to take your hard earned money and give it to them. Apple isn't good, nor is it bad, it's just a business like any other business out there. Whatever looks bad to them, they will shy away from, and whatever looks good to them, they will move towards. As long as the shareholders deem it a good move, Apple will keep doing it. Nothing more, nothing less - there is no special sauce.
 
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matrix07

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Jun 24, 2010
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We’re probably going to get a vague statement from Tim on “Apple’s core values”. He might even throw in a “we’re deeply concerned”.

He’s not going to risk losing business in Hong Kong though.

No, he’s not but one way or the other Apple, along with other big giant tech companies, will be forced to re-estimate and re-calculate their risks being involved with such a totalitarian regime, and this including the risk to rely heavily on Taiwanese company like TSMC as well.
 
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2010mini

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Jun 19, 2013
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Is China a sovereign nation? Yes. Do other countries get to force sovereign nations to change laws? No.

Apple and all other tech companies are free to not do any business in China. But like all “western countries” are addicted to cheap/slave labour.
 
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lec0rsaire

macrumors 68000
Feb 23, 2017
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The reality is that despite the hysteria surrounding the enactment of this national security law, not much will really change in HK. HK will continue to have a high degree of autonomy and will not just be another Chinese province.

If China had wanted to completely dismantle the one country, two systems policy, they would’ve done so. They wouldn’t have bothered to enact security legislation for HK. They would’ve just enforced China’s national security laws on the territory and this is not what is happening.

What this national security law is really about is China’s sovereignty over Hong Kong. The law makes it clear that Hong Kong is part of the PRC and any movements with the goal of seceding from China will not be tolerated. Collaborating with foreign governments to democratize HK or work towards independence will also not be tolerated.

When looked at through this lens it’s not an unreasonable position. HK is no longer a colony under British rule. While it has been considered to be part of the west since about 1841, it’s future going forward is linked to China. It also must said that the British never democratized HK during their 156 year dominion over the territory. The last Governor of HK, Patton, conveniently wanted to democratize HK just before the hand over. I’m an American. I actually believe in universal suffrage but it’s unfair to want China to do something that the UK never did.

China certainly has its faults. It has certainly violated human rights and oftentimes has overreacted to various challenges. That said when I look at the young pro-democracy/independence people in Hong Kong, I see a fanatic hatred and fear of China. As if China were the DPRK. I can’t help but think that these young people have been heavily influenced by anti-communist propaganda and a pro-British/pro-western perspective in school.

For example, they appear to be obsessed with Tiananmen Square. Yes, this was a horrific event and should never be forgotten but I think it’s not fair to just focus on this while ignoring the good things China has done. The hundreds of millions lifted out of poverty. The rapid modernization of China. These things also matter.

It would be like people only focusing on the police brutality in the US and the mass surveillance the NSA conducted while ignoring all of the progress our society has made regarding civil rights just in the past decade.

The fact is that China has changed a lot since the days of Chairman Mao. While the Communist Party still has absolute rule, the society is freer today than it was then and despite the pessimist outlook many have vis à vis China, I am confident that as it gets closer and closer to achieving parity with the US, further liberalization is inevitable.
 
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TheJae

macrumors regular
Mar 8, 2008
134
24
HKG
The protesters in the US aren't hated. The rioters and terrorists are hated. Rioters and terrorists have taken over the marches and diluted the voices of the protesters. We are allowed to protest in the US, unlike what is happening in HK.
The irony is that if you replace US with HK in your sentence, it would be equally true, with historical evidence to back this same statement.

The protesters in the HK aren't hated. The rioters and terrorists are hated. Rioters and terrorists have taken over the marches and diluted the voices of the protesters. We are allowed to protest in the HK, unlike what is happening in US.
 
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nicho

macrumors 68040
Feb 15, 2008
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The protesters in the US aren't hated. The rioters and terrorists are hated. Rioters and terrorists have taken over the marches and diluted the voices of the protesters. We are allowed to protest in the US, unlike what is happening in HK.

it’s sad that you’ll happily make a distinction in one case but call everyone “protestors” in the others.

People are allowed to protest peacefully in HK. Or they were, until rioters and foreign-sponsored terrorists took the lead.
 
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msp3

macrumors 6502
May 9, 2015
396
381
Why are all these companies suddenly worried that Hong Kong is going full-police state without even the pretense of being a free society anymore even though said companies also operate in China and follow The Party's orders to the letter? Worse comes to worse, wouldn't it just be exactly like the rest of Communist China where these guys just roll over and does whatever they're told anyway?
PRC Keyboard Warriors spreadin' dat proppygandy.
The term is "50 cent army"
 
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WoodpeckerBaby

macrumors 65816
Aug 17, 2016
1,040
926
It is my opinion that Western corporations and companies have built China into the economic powerhouse that it is today, or at least accelerated it rapidly. They did so in order to exploit their massive poor workforce and poor environmental standards to boost their profits.

China is a state that is extremely hostile to Western values and is actively engaging in cyber warfare against us, but the capitalists don’t care so long as their profits keep rolling in. Granted, the US and Russia has or is doing similarly, but China is prepared to treat its people worse than they treat animals, which is to say: extremely poorly.

Tim Cook and Apple simply can’t claim any moral high ground regarding their social equality, BLM or sexuality positions in the US and other western countries when they support a regime which denies basic human rights, transparency, the ability to question authority; and engages in genocide to name a few.

If Apple has the courage to remove a headphone jack and move to ARM, they should have the courage to get out of China.
If you have ever lived in China, which I have, or if you have been very close with Chinese international students, you will know that they like their country and they don't think China treats people poorly. They will tell you that the West is always trying to limit China's growth and implement policies and sanctions that deeply worsen the life of Chinese people, and they will tell you that the Americans and Canadians are not doing them a favour at all, and they will tell you that they just want to be left alone.

Western values are not Chinese values. China is a civilization state and not just a nation-state. They don't think God is their creator or something like that, they have their own creation story, which dates back to 9000 BC to 7500 BC. China doesn't look at the West and say, this is the way to go, but rather, they say, interesting, that's a good alternative and we will take reference, but we will roll our own.
 
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gleepskip

macrumors 6502
Apr 29, 2005
358
567
Why are all these companies suddenly worried that Hong Kong is going full-police state without even the pretense of being a free society anymore even though said companies also operate in China and follow The Party's orders to the letter? Worse comes to worse, wouldn't it just be exactly like the rest of Communist China where these guys just roll over and does whatever they're told anyway?

Well put. It's almost like corporate values are nothing but pretense.
 
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simonmet

Cancelled
Sep 9, 2012
2,666
3,656
Sydney
The irony is that if you replace US with HK in your sentence, it would be equally true, with historical evidence to back this same statement.

The protesters in the HK aren't hated. The rioters and terrorists are hated. Rioters and terrorists have taken over the marches and diluted the voices of the protesters. We are allowed to protest in the HK, unlike what is happening in US.

The protestors aren’t hated by the Beijing-controlled Hong Kong government? That same government that will use the new laws to shut down and arrest protesters en masse if necessary? Why do you think they tried to introduce laws that allow prisoners to be extradited, tried and improsoned in “the mainland” where they can build massive detention/prison/“re-education”/slave labour facilities? Why do you think they’ve been desperate to quell the Hong Konger’s widespread (millions marching) support of continuing the existing special privileges enjoyed under the one country, two systems policy?

Are you serious or just plain deluded?
[automerge]1594097690[/automerge]
If you have ever lived in China, which I have, or if you have been very close with Chinese international students, you will know that they like their country and they don't think China treats people poorly. They will tell you that the West is always trying to limit China's growth and implement policies and sanctions that deeply worsen the life of Chinese people, and they will tell you that the Americans and Canadians are not doing them a favour at all, and they will tell you that they just want to be left alone.

Western values are not Chinese values. China is a civilization state and not just a nation-state. They don't think God is their creator or something like that, they have their own creation story, which dates back to 9000 BC to 7500 BC. China doesn't look at the West and say, this is the way to go, but rather, they say, interesting, that's a good alternative and we will take reference, but we will roll our own.

Chinese students are indeed very pro China. Funny what happens when you’re only given one narritive and history (including denialism) and live in a country with chronic censorship under threat of arrest or loss of social credit rating for daring to criticise authority; even when they do things that are demonstrably bad (like initial handling of COVID-19)!

I personally don’t like my current conservative government, but I can freely and openly work to undermine and campaign against it whilst simultaneously respecting those who support it and recognise its legitimacy, considering it was democratically elected; unlike the CCP.

I’m not criticising Chinese people at all. But your claims that China wants little or nothing to do with the West is also laughable. If you think they don’t want western investment, why don’t they ask companies like Apple to leave? They have benefited from imitation/theft of western technology for decades; not least the Western appetite for cheap, Chinese-made goods (not personally however). Why are knock-offs rampant in China?

I wish the very best for China and Chinese people; and while you don’t want the systems and quality of life we have, I likewise don’t want yours! I’d much rather have the rights of democracy, freedom of protest and assembly, freedom of speech, independent and (mostly) free media, clean environment, strong labour laws and entitlements, universal health care and welfare entitlements, high liveability including the 2nd, 3rd and 10th most liveable cities in the world according to one ranking (Mercers). Most of Europe is just as good, if not better. America not quite so much.

[automerge]1594098050[/automerge]
Why are all these companies suddenly worried that Hong Kong is going full-police state without even the pretense of being a free society anymore even though said companies also operate in China and follow The Party's orders to the letter? Worse comes to worse, wouldn't it just be exactly like the rest of Communist China where these guys just roll over and does whatever they're told anyway?
The term is "50 cent army"

That is indeed a good point.
 
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asiga

macrumors 6502a
Nov 4, 2012
903
1,155
The US in the middle of nowhere: you are crushing your tradition and the History from which you learnt and from which you grew into a big country... and now... you realize that the governments that best represent the departure you are taking are in fact deplorable. And then you look below your feet and there's nothing, you are walking on the void: you removed your own ground (which was the strong defense of freedom), yet the new ideals you dream of are actually the opposite (repression, control, and lack of freedom).
 
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