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Evil and Petty CCP bans WhatsApp,Threads, Signal, and Telegram to revenge Tik Tok


Last week, the Chinese governmentordered Apple to remove several widely used messaging apps—WhatsApp, Threads, Signal, and Telegram—from its app store. According to the Wall Street Journal, these apps have about three billion users globally, and have been downloaded more than a hundred and seventy million times in China since 2017. In a statement, Apple said that it was told to remove the apps because of “national security concerns,” adding that it is “obligated to follow the laws in the countries where we operate, even when we disagree.” Although new downloads are now blocked, some reports said that Chinese users who had already installed the apps were still able to use them, though doing so requires the use of a virtual private network, or VPN, to get around the country’s “Great Firewall.”

Beyond Apple’s allusion to “national security,” why exactly the apps were removed is unclear. An anonymous source told the Journal that the Chinese Cyberspace Administration asked Apple to remove WhatsApp and Threads because both are home to content that includes “problematic mentions” of Xi Jinping, China’s president. The New York Times also quoted a source as saying that the apps were removed because they platformed “inflammatory” content about Xi and violated China’s cybersecurity laws. An Apple spokesperson, however, told the Journal that the apps were not removed because of content about Xi. A spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in the US didn’t say why the apps were targeted, but told the Washington Post that foreign companies must obey Chinese laws aimed at maintaining an “orderly” internet.

Some China experts have their own theories as to why the apps were ordered removed. As the Post noted, the move came just a few days after the US Congress resurrected a bill aimed at forcing ByteDance, the Chinese owner of TikTok, to either sell the app or be banned from the US (the Senate passed the bill on Tuesday, and President Biden signed it into law yesterday)—timing that suggests possible retaliation on China’s part. Dan Wang, a visiting China scholar at Yale Law School, told the Post that the removal of WhatsAppis largely symbolic since the platform is already banned in China—but that the Chinese government’s playbook is to reply in kind to “every American provocation,” a dynamic that might only accelerate should the US successfully impose its TikTok ban. (I wrote last week about the prospects for this, which depend on more than simply passing legislation.)

The US and Chinese governments have been playing this kind of tit-for-tat game for some time. On the US side, the White House has in recent years restricted China’s access to a variety of advanced technologies after intelligence agencies reported that Beijing was using supercomputers and artificial intelligence to develop weapons systems, and to try to crack encryption systems used by the US government. According to the Times, the Biden administration exerted its influence over supply chains in an attempt to choke off China’s access to advanced chips and other technologies. Beijing, for its part, retaliated by banning memory chips from US-based Micron Technology and reducing its purchases from other US chipmakers.

Nor is this the first time that Apple has acquiesced to requests made by the Chinese government. In 2017, the company came under fire for removing dozens of VPN apps that allowed Chinese internet users to circumvent the Great Firewall. One appmaker said at the time that it was “troubled to see Apple aiding China’s censorship efforts.” Apple responded that the Chinese government required VPN operators to have a government license, and that it therefore had no choice but to remove apps that were not in compliance. In 2020, the company removed more than thirty thousand apps from its store—mostly games—because they did not have a government licenseeither.

In a 2021 feature on Apple’s ties to China, the Times reported that the company “proactively censors its Chinese App Store,” relying on software and company employees to flag and block apps that it fears might draw the ire of Chinese officials. The Times investigation found that “tens of thousands of apps” haddisappeared from the app store in China over the previous few years—a higher figure than had been reported to that point—including those of “foreign news outlets, gay dating services, and encrypted messaging apps.” Apple also blocked a tool that pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong had used to keep tabs on the policeafter Chinese state media accused the company of abetting “rioters.” In 2023, the company blocked Chinese citizens—including those working at its own factories—from using its built-in AirDrop file-sharing feature to share photos ofdemonstrations against China’s zero-tolerance COVID restrictions.
Some experts say that Apple’s commitment to helping the Chinese government runs much deeper than app removal—over the past two decades, they say, Apple hasintegrated its business with China to such an extent that it has effectively partnered with the Chinese government. China not only assembles most of Apple’s smartphones, but sales to the country and its growing middle class amounted to almost seventy billion dollars last year,equivalent to a fifth of Apple’s annual revenue. When Beijing asks for something, critics argue, Apple can’t really say no—because its business has become so reliant on the Chinese market and on Chinese manufacturers as to make total extrication almost impossible.

In 2023, Apple shares lost close to two hundred billion dollars in market value in a matter of days following reports that China was planning to extend a ban on iPhones for government workers to cover any government-controlled organization. The Chinese government denied that it hadbanned iPhones, but alluded to what it called iPhone-related “security incidents.” Apple’s stock continued to fall as investors tried to determine how much of a hit the company’s sales might take, and whether the ban meant that China was falling out of love with Apple. (For what it’s worth, market research published this weekshowed that iPhone sales dropped nearly 20 percent in the country in the first quarter of this year, while sales of phones made by the Chinese firm Huawei surged.)

The creation of Apple’s Chinese supply chain reportedly involved hiring millions of workers, building thousands of plants, and negotiating deals with hundreds of suppliers. The Chinese government made that possible, the Times reported, by spending billions of dollars to “pave roads, recruit workers, and construct factories, power plants and employee housing.” In return, Apple has bowed to the Chinese government’s demands for control—not just over apps, but over its users’ data. In its 2021 feature, the Times detailed how Apple built a vast server farm in China in response to a new law that required all electronic data in China to be stored on servers in that country. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, has said repeatedly that the data in its Chinese server farm is safe, and that Apple is committed to its users’ privacy in a way that other technology companies are not. According to the Times, however, the building of the server farm infrastructure meant that the company “largely ceded control [over its data] to the Chinese government.” (I wrote about all this for CJRat the time.)

Apple has tried to disentangle itself from China to some extent. Cook has made trips to Vietnam and India in an attempt to diversify the company’s operations, and it now manufactures products in both those countries. But many observers are skeptical that Apple can meaningfully reduce its reliance on China. A former Apple engineer who was asked to find alternatives told the Financial Times last year that Apple has been trying to move outside the country since 2014, with little success. China, the engineer said, “is going to dominate labor and tech production for another 20 years.”

This means that Apple’s censorship of whatever the Chinese government wants it to censor is likely to continue, too. As Matthew Turpin, a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, told the Times in 2021, “Apple is discovering that geopolitics drive business models—not the other way around.”

red amoeba

Alfrescian (Inf)
I don’t see any impact. As I know chinks are all using walk arounds to access these apps.


Ang mor apps like eBay , Viber, Amazon, Google apps, etc are banned in chicons land...so how come when ang mors do the same to the chicons..the chicons kpkb ....? Did the ang mors even bring up that points? About the protected chicons markets


In the very beginning, Google is already banned in Cina Land.

Thus, how stupid and low these Commie Cunt Party can go is really beyond me. :biggrin: Fucking no logic.