Jack Nicas reports for the New York Times.
In 2004, Apple decided to expand in China with a factory making the iPod, which was becoming a hit product. On a trip to scope out the location for the factory, the head of Apple’s manufacturing partner pointed to a small mountain and told two Apple executives present that the factory would be built there, according to one of the executives. The executives were confused; the factory needed to be up and running in about six months.
Less than a year later, the executives returned to China. The mountain was gone and the factory was operating, the executive said. The Chinese government had moved the mountain for Apple.
This has been a concern of mine in the last few years. As tech companies become increasingly politically active in the United States, they also increasingly cave to the Chinese government. It seems no other US tech company is as beholden to China as Apple. China moved mountains for Apple. Now they expect the tech giant to pay them back in the form of compliance to laws that go against the principles for which the company stands. It was a Faustian bargain that was forged between the two parties.
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