Apple’s Transparency Reports Fail To Divulge Information Regarding The Company’s Takedown Of Apps On China’s Behest

Campaign group Great Fire has recently made accusations against Apple, stating that their bi-annual Transparency Reports are far from transparent, and that the company is concealing information about the apps that it removes.

Apple prides itself on its transparency reports, a sentiment that I suspect stems from the company’s tendency to step into hot water unawares. The tech giant has been exposed to lawsuits and public controversies of literally any number, many of which range from its rather controversial monopolization and profit-oriented policies. Transparency reports are a way for Apple to tout a modicum of honesty and frankness that many corporations spend years attempting to build with their core audiences. Of course, at the end of the day, these are all billion-dollar companies that are only interested in your investment and nothing more. Therefore, it rather easily falls to reason that Apple may choose to be a little dishonest with its consumers to end up looking all the better for it. And of course when I type out may, I very clearly mean does. That’s certainly the point that Great Fire is out to make, and rather loudly at it as well.

Great Fire (also stylized as GreatFire) is a campaign group that monitors the status of websites, applications, and other such pages and platforms that are more often than not censored by the Chinese government’s Great Firewall. I’m sure China thought it was being cute when it named a major impediment to free speech after a wall that was built upon human rights atrocities. At any rate, Great Fire decided to take a closer look at Apple’s biannual reports and came to the conclusion that, well, somebody’s lying.

To put in extremely simple terms, Apple’s Transparency Reports feature the company accepting app takedown requests from China, sure, but they also cite reasons that don’t quite add up. Vague statements regarding background checks, improper app functioning, and all forms of speculative mistrust have been labeled upon the literal hundreds of apps that have fallen victim to such enthusiastic ablation. The most likely reason for Apple acquiescing to the Chinese government’s stern and copious requests is simple: the company doesn’t want to lose a major marketplace. One that, mind you, is also host to many of its factories. There isn’t going to be much of a profit margin for Apple to chase if there’s no one making the iPhones. China’s not over attempting to sink massive businesses anyways; just ask Jack Ma. Or, more appropriately, ask him when he finally decides that the coast is clear and makes a public appearance a few years down the line.

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