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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Apple has again declined a request to testify at a U.S. congressional hearing that is part of a wider investigation into Chinese influence on technology companies.


According to The Washington Post, both Apple and TikTok declined an invitation from U.S. Senator Josh Hawley to attend the hearing, which took place on Monday, February 24.
Apple and TikTok each have declined a request to testify at a March congressional hearing that would have probed their relationships with China, a move that threatens to ratchet up tensions with federal lawmakers who see Beijing as a privacy and security threat.

Republican Sen. Josh Hawley (Mo.), one of TikTok's leading critics, had invited the two tech firms to appear at a March 4 session, his office confirmed Monday. Both previously had declined to testify at a hearing last year on the same issue.
According to the Post, TikTok has said it plans to send a representative to engage with the subcommittee at a later date, but Apple has not commented on its absence.

Apple and TikTok skipped a similar hearing in November last year, leaving two chairs empty at the meeting with only placards bearing the companies' names.

Senator Hawley, who is a frequent critic of Apple for its ties with China, attacked the company for its no-show, saying its entanglement with the country's authoritarian government was "a fact they would rather we think not too much about."

In October, U.S. lawmakers called out Apple for not standing up for democratic values and free speech in Hong Kong, after it pulled an app from the App Store that protestors had been using to track police movements in the city state, saying it violated the company's guidelines and local laws.

Apple initially approved the app after reviewing its decision to initially reject it app from the ?App Store?. Its reversal came after the Chinese Communist Party's flagship newspaper criticized the company for letting the app into its store.

"Apple assured me last week that their initial decision to ban this app was a mistake," tweeted senator Hawley at the time. "Looks like the Chinese censors have had a word with them since. Who is really running Apple? ?Tim Cook? or Beijing?"

In a related development today, The Guardian reports that Apple could be forced to disclose details of censorship requests from China after two major shareholder groups backed a proposal that would force the tech giant to make new human rights commitments.

The motion is set to be voted on by the company's investors on Wednesday, and was prompted by numerous allegations of Apple kowtowing to Beijing and blocking apps from being used by Chinese customers. Apple reportedly failed in an attempt to block the vote from taking place.

Note: Due to the political 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 Declines Request to Testify at U.S. Congressional Hearing Probing Ties to China


Oct 15, 2017

America's attempts at containing China will utterly fail. If you want to beat them, you can't impose double standards and be a hypocrite.
Ok, so "pingguo jiayou" (go Apple) is supposed to be indecent?


Oct 30, 2018
Columbus, OH
If the country in question is anything but China, Tim Cook & Co. are breaking their heels running to testify.
Apple can’t answer these questions because then it becomes clear how much China does influence Apple. My only wish for Apple is that they can diversify their manufacturing around the world instead of all in China.

They honestly should follow Nokia's '90s/2000s manufacturing model. They used to have the best in the world. For Asia and Australia, they used factories in China and Vietnam; for the Americas, they used Mexico and Brazil; for Europe and Africa, they used Finland and Russia.


macrumors 6502
Jan 10, 2017
Considering that Apple assembles their products in China, bashing China in public hearing would be pretty bad... I do believe that Apple will listen to Beijing in China and play with their rules in there, but outside of China, not so much.

Given the fact how much **** Huawei took in the scandal - if Mr. Trump thinks Cook's business is somehow spying USA citizens (For China), considering how much Huawei 2.0 scandal would plummet Apple's stock-value... I don't think they would risk it.


macrumors Penryn
Nov 14, 2011
Was this a serious request/hearing? Apple had no problem showing up when Congress was probing corporate taxes.

Remember Josh Hawley is the guy who wants to ban infinite scroll and autoplay in social media apps. And he wants tech companies to have to certify with some federal bureaucracy that they don’t have a political bias.

Plus he wants to turn companies like Facebook and Twitter into publishers so that MAGA cultists can sue them for being biased.

Harmonious Zen

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2013
But it's ok for every other US company to do business with China?

Do you buy anything made in China?

Those where rhetorical questions.

You can't expect to have a thoughtful discussion with people like that. I personally don't even try.

The fact is the world has become much more complex and huge multinational corporations in many ways have more influence than nation states. The next couple of decades will be defined by the tension between these two entities.

Digital Dude

macrumors 65816
Apple can’t answer these questions because then it becomes clear how much China does influence Apple. My only wish for Apple is that they can diversify their manufacturing around the world instead of all in China.

How about 'diversify' throughout the United States. Each State is already like' their own little country. California is like Mexico and Mars; Texas is like the old west, New York is like Europe, and so on. Apple wouldn't have to shut down due to the latest chicken virus, compromise its intellectual property, and more American's could have 'Jobs.' ✌ BTW, much of my comment is tongue n' cheek. ☮
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macrumors G5
Oct 10, 2011
The congressman is a tool, but he is right about needing to know why Apple is failing to follow the same standards they claim to cherish so much. Freedom should be for everyone, not just US citizens.

Why should a United States legislator be concerned about how China chooses to conduct policies that are internal to China?

Would you be OK with Chinese legislators conducting probes and meddling into United States internal policies, laws, and politics?


Aug 17, 2016
Testifying and getting stuck between US and China tensions is not in the best interest of Apple, both in terms of supply chain and in terms of sales in China.

If they hold a board meeting and have a vote on this issue, of course, the result would be negative.


macrumors 68040
Mar 27, 2004
Eastern USA
Sometimes a congressional hearing is convened because a Senate or House committee doesn’t understand something and needs to ask legitimate questions of an expert, prepared to broaden their understanding of an issue.

Sometimes a congressional hearing is convened so a biased tool with a premeditated agenda can spend time verbally abusing the person in the testimony chair so they can score PR points with their grandstanding at the witness’s expense.

I’m thinking Tim Cook and Apple legal correctly decided not to go with option B.
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