Stop Apple Censorship Online

In August 2020 Apple issued a new human rights policy that includes a commitment to freedom of information and expression as human rights. This policy is directly linked to this campaign! 

In February 2020, at Apple’s last shareholder meeting, over 40% of the company’s investors voted to support our resolution proposing Apple report annually on its policies on freedom of expression and access to information, as well as be more transparent in how it responds to requests from governments such as China to restrict certain apps.

The new human rights policy meets the first part of the resolution by publicly committing to respect freedom of information and expression as human rights but it does not go far enough in outlining the implementation of the company’s commitment and we will be continuing for Apple to do more to uphold the freedom rights of Tibetans, Uyghurs, Hongkongers, Chinese people and Southern Mongolians.

 

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Stop Apple Censorship Online

Apple has long been seen as a leader in the provision of access to the internet and as a champion of privacy and security, stating “Privacy is a fundamental human right.”

In reality, Apple enables the Chinese government’s surveillance and censorship of citizens, as well as denying people living under China’s rule access to a free and open internet.

At the request of the government of China, Apple has removed 1,000+ “virtual private networks” (VPNs) from the App Store in China, in addition to news media apps like The New York Times and Quartz.

VPNs not only allow access to information but they provide critical, safe communication channels for Tibetans, Uyghurs, and Chinese dissidents and human rights defenders working to secure basic rights and freedoms.

In October 2019, Apple removed HKmap.live; a crowdsourcing app being used by Hong Kong residents, journalists, and tourists to see where protests and police build-up are happening to allow areas to be avoided and to stay safe.

China is engaged in escalating attacks on human rights across all areas under its rule; backing the violent repression Hong Kong democracy protests, detaining at least one million Uyghur muslims in East Turkestan, inflicting widespread human rights violations in occupied Tibet, and arresting people in China who speak out about the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.

As consumers, concerned citizens, and members of communities in the direct line of fire, we demand Apple drop China’s censorship act and commit to upholding human dignity and political freedom.

 

Stop Apple Censorship Online!

Apple! Stop blocking VPNs in China and uphold freedom of expression

#StopAppleCensorship on Twitter

18 hours ago
Today is #Apple's Annual Meeting of Shareholders.

@Tim_Cook doesn't want to talk about human rights.

But we are here to remind @Apple that the decisions they make have deadly consequences for their consumers in Tibet, East Turkestan, HK & China.

#StopAppleCensorship #AppleAGM https://t.co/KV0dJ2Cr42
DawnRoseTurner photo
18 hours ago
At last year's AGM, 40% of shareholders voted for @Apple 2 do better on freedom of expression & info. This year, Apple blocked us from having a voice at the meeting! Is Tim Cook really serious about human rights? #StopAppleCensorship https://t.co/VmZRNeLFDs DawnRoseTurner photo
18 hours ago
" @Apple human rights record is utterly shameful. Apple was caught lobbying to undermine a bill designed to stop forced Uyghur labour in East Turkistan, despite adopting its first human rights policy. Apple is making promises it cannot keep." - @ZumretErkin #StopAppleCensorship https://t.co/811cOq263J DawnRoseTurner photo
18 hours ago
SFT's Campaigns Director, @pema0_o, has a message for @tim_cook.

@Apple, stop caving to China's authoritarian demands and support your Tibetan, Uyghur, and Hong Konger consumers!

#StopAppleCensorship #FreeTibet https://t.co/gdFNQS7J35
18 hours ago
. @SFTHQ's Campaigns Director, @pema0_o has a simple message to @Apple :

''It’s time to live up to your brand and fulfill your promises of digital security for all users, including Tibetans, Uyghurs, Hong Kongers, and Chinese people.''

#StopAppleCensorship #AGM https://t.co/p4UiaFdXhh
23 hours ago
. @SFTHQ's Campaigns Director, @pema0_o has a simple message to @Apple :

''It’s time to live up to your brand and fulfill your promises of digital security for all users, including Tibetans, Uyghurs, Hong Kongers, and Chinese people.''

#StopAppleCensorship #AGM https://t.co/p4UiaFdXhh

#StopAppleCensorship in the News

Apple vote sounds ‘warning’ over China app takedowns as iPhone maker’s human rights record under scrutiny

Source: South China Morning Post

An Apple Inc shareholder proposal critical of the company’s app removals in China received a relatively high level of support at the iPhone maker’s annual meeting on Wednesday, enough to push the company to respond, experts said.

 


Apple should respond to shareholder proposal critical of China App Store takedowns, experts say

Source: 9to5 Mac

Apple held its annual shareholders meeting earlier today, which included votes on six different proposals, comments from Tim Cook, and a question and answer session. One of the proposals was specifically critical of Apple’s cooperation with requests from the Chinese government to remove certain apps from the App Store.

 


Apple shareholders set to vote on human-rights policies

Source: BBC

Apple shareholders are set to vote on whether Apple should change its human-rights policies. They will be asked whether they want Apple to make a commitment to respect freedom of expression.

Apple removed a mapping app during the Hong Kong protests, leading to criticism that it pandered to Beijing.


Apple’s China Nightmare Just Got Even Worse

Source: Forbes

Apple has found itself in a PR nightmare in recent days, with the tech giant’s troubled relationship with China thrust into an unwelcoming media spotlight.


Apple pressed by shareholders over China censorship

Source: Nikkei Asian Review

CUPERTINO, U.S. — Apple shareholders raised concerns about the company’s compliance with the Chinese government’s censorship demands at an annual investor event on Wednesday.


Apple survives shareholder revolt over free speech

Source: The Telegraph

Apple has faced a significant shareholder rebellion over an effort to force it to say how the company complies with government censors, as it comes under growing pressure over its role in China.


Apple accedes to China’s despotic demands

Source: Washington Post

APPLE CHIEF EXECUTIVE Tim Cook has said that “companies should have values, just like people do.” He’s right. But it is difficult to champion democratic values while doing business in a country that runs on speech-stifling authoritarianism.


Tim Cook defends Apple’s removal of Hong Kong mapping app

Source: The Guardian

Apple chief said in a letter HKmap.live was ‘used maliciously to target’ officers as claim was disputed by protesters on the ground.


press releases

Groups Involved

International Tibet Network

International Tibet Network

 

SumOfUs

SumOfUs

Students for a Free Tibet

Students for a free Tibet

Free Tibet

free tibet

Tibet Action Institute

Tibet Action Institute

World Uyghur Congress