Apple CEO Tim Cook Stars in Communist Chinese State Media to Praise ‘Inspiring’ Apps
“I want to start by saying a few words about the innovative and inspiring developer community in China,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a June 16 propaganda video on China Daily’s YouTube channel. Attached to the video is a warning label that reads: “China Daily is funded in whole or in part by the Chinese government.” [Emphasis added].
But that didn’t stop the CEO of one of America’s most successful tech companies from starring in a propaganda short for the Communist Chinese state media. “Chinese developers have always been at the cutting edge, and I think that will continue to grow, and I can’t wait to see what you’re going to do next,” said Cook, smiling.
Cook reportedly signed a secret $275 billion deal with China in 2016 to avoid regulations on his company. The Apple CEO agreed to invest the $275 billion “into the local economy over a five-year period.”
“Small developers in China have seen their revenues almost double in just over two years. This is phenomenal!” exclaimed Cook.
The hosts of the China Daily show, Take IT Easy, touted Chinese app developers as “global trend-setters,” and cited TikTok overtaking Facebook as the most downloaded app in the world as a prime example of Chinese dominance in tech. TikTok’s parent company ByteDance has close ties to the Chinese Communist Party, according to CNBC.
“Whenever I meet with developers, I’m so impressed by your creativity and your passion for using technology to enrich people’s lives,” Cook said.
“Passion,” “creativity” and life “enrich[ment]” might not be the way that Chinese citizens — especially oppressed minorities — would describe their app community. A June 21 New York Times exposé on “China’s expanding surveillance state” revealed that police from a county in southern China “bought phone trackers with the hope of detecting a Uyghur-to-Chinese dictionary app on phones.”
Even Secretary of State Anthony Blinken called out the Chinese government for “continu[ing] to commit genocide and crimes against humanity against predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other minority groups” in a speech on March 21. The U.S. Department of Labor cited estimates that “100,000 Uyghurs and other ethnic minority ex-detainees in China may be working in conditions of forced labor following detention in re-education camps.”
Despite Apple’s posturing as a defender of human rights, Cook continued to heap praises on app developers in China: “You’ve really poured your heart and souls into delivering incredible apps that help people stay active and entertained and productive, learning and healthy.”