Has Apple reached its breaking point in China?

TimCookChina_101819
Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during the TIME 100 Summit in New York, Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Richard Drew/Associated Press)

Has Apple reached its breaking point in China?

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It appears Apple has finally decided that putting up with the Chinese Communist Party is no longer the best business decision for the company.

Apple is reportedly accelerating its plan to move iPhone production out of China and into countries such as India and Vietnam. This comes after protests in China at Apple’s largest iPhone factory, with workers joining protesters across the country in opposing China’s “zero COVID” policies. The protests had led to an estimated production shortfall of around 6 million iPhones, which caused Apple stock to drop.

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After years of suppressing protests on behalf of the communists and lobbying Congress against restricting products made with slave labor in China, it appears that a protest disrupting production and a pandemic (started by China) disrupting supply chains has finally broken Apple out of its pro-Communist stupor. Maybe Apple CEO Tim Cook just didn’t want to be put in another spot where he is unable to support protesters or condemn China’s human rights abuses, as he was last week.

This plan already should have been “accelerated” after the pandemic made it clear that it was a mistake to rely on China to keep supply chains intact. It has also been made increasingly clear that any area of Chinese government involvement in technology manufacturing poses a national security risk, as the company saw when it was forced in October to stop using memory chips from a Chinese company thanks to restrictions from the Commerce Department.

Regardless, this is a welcome development. Whatever American companies can do to reduce their reliance on China — and, by extension, their need to pander to the CCP — is good for America and good for consumers. While the leaders of some organizations (such as the NBA) continue to sacrifice their souls for access in China, Apple appears to be moving, albeit quite late, in the opposite direction.

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The next step would be for Cook to confirm that he and the company oppose slave labor and genocide and support the right of Chinese citizens to protest and for the company to stop restricting apps and iPhone features to suppress protests and please the CCP. Take your time, Tim. You’re welcome to join those of us who don’t have a net worth in the billions in standing for basic human rights whenever you like.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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