The world watched as Chinese citizens rose up against their corrupt, communist government. After three years of “zero COVID” lockdowns–which nearly destroyed their economy–Chinese citizens have done the unthinkable: demand an end to the Chinese Communist Party and the removal of President Xi.
It is incredibly difficult for Chinese citizens to do this. They have no free speech or right to peaceably assemble. They are known for being obedient citizens of the CCP. But even they reached a breaking point over COVID lockdowns. And they have used technology to communicate their dissent and spark upheaval.
That’s good news, right? Except a familiar name was allying with the corrupt communist regime to suppress these people’s rights and stop the protests. Who could do such a thing? Apple.
AirDrop, the file-sharing feature on iPhones and other Apple devices, has helped protestors in many authoritarian countries evade censorship. That’s because AirDrop relies on direct connections between phones, forming a local network of devices that don’t need the internet to communicate. People can opt into receiving AirDrops from anyone else with an iPhone nearby.
That changed… when Apple released a new version of its mobile operating system, iOS 16.1.1, to customers worldwide. Rather than listing new features, as it often does, the company simply said, “This update includes bug fixes and security updates and is recommended for all users.”
Hidden in the update was a change that only applies to iPhones sold in mainland China: AirDrop can only be set to receive messages from everyone for 10 minutes, before switching off. There’s no longer a way to keep the “everyone” setting on permanently on Chinese iPhones. The change, first noticed by Chinese readers of 9to5Mac, doesn’t apply anywhere else. [Source: Yahoo]
Wow. Just as dissent was building among Chinese citizens, Apple made a change to its operating system that made it harder for residents to communicate without government interference. AirDrop is a feature that lets you send messages directly to nearby phones without posting to a social network (which is controlled in China by the government).
This is a critical means by which protesters organize in closed countries. Yet for some odd reason, Apple has made it harder for people to use AirDrop–but only in mainland China. And this happened just as the murmurs of dissent started to grow.
Now, why would an American company (that has thrived thanks to free speech) suddenly do something that helped a corrupt, totalitarian regime like the CCP? Why would Apple make this change so that protesters had a harder time challenging this government?
Could it be because Apple is on the side of an evil government that denies its people human rights? Well, Apple does make most of its phones in Chinese factories–which are owned by members of the CCP. And if Apple wants to keep selling phones in China, they have to keep the communist government happy.
Not great, right? Apple cares more about making money than doing the right thing. This is from a company run by liberals who pretend to care about human rights. I guess they care more about keeping the CCP happy the most.
Author: Max Davis