Apple claims their decision to bow to Chinese censorship laws and remove certain apps from their store in the country allows them to promote free speech within the country.
The Hill reports that in a response to Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) questioning Apple in October over “enabling” Chinese censorship, Apple claimed that their decision to cave to pressure from the Chinese government allowed them to “promote greater opennness [sic] and facilitate the free flow of ideas and information.”
“We believe that our presence in China helps promote greater openness and facilitates the free flow of ideas and information,” Apple claimed in their letter to the Senators. “Our products and services offer our customers opportunities to communicate in many forms – including through personal communications services, podcasts, photos, and millions of apps. We sell the same iPhone in China that we do here in the United States.”
“We also work to promote fundamental rights in China, for example through enforcing a strict supplier code of conduct with standards for safe working conditions, fair treatment of workers, and environmentally responsible practices,” the letter continued. “We are convinced that Apple can best promote fundamental rights, including the right of free expression, by being engaged even where we may disagree with a particular country’s laws.”