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Apple Daily: Leading Western enterprises bow to 'one China' pressure

2018/01/13 16:09:45

Two recent news reports have sent chills down the spines of Taiwanese people.

One was an announcement by Apple Inc. that it will hand over Chinese iCloud data center operations to Guizhou on the Cloud Big Data (GCBD), a Chinese state-owned enterprise, at the end of February.

According to the terms of service, both Apple and GCBD will have access to customer data: "You understand and agree that Apple and GCBD will have access to all data that you store on this service, including the right to share, exchange and disclose all user data, including Content, to and between each other under applicable law."

Some users are concerned that their data will end up in the hands of the Chinese government.

Fortunately, only mainland Chinese iCloud users will be affected at present, while Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau users can be "temporarily" relieved. Why temporarily? Because of the second piece of news.

China recently criticized American company Marriott International and its subsidiary Starwood Hotels & Resorts for listing Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as separate countries on its websites.

In response, Marriott International, which operates more than 120 hotels in China, issued an apology, saying "we don't support separatist groups that subvert the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China," and "we sincerely apologize for any actions that may have suggested otherwise."

If such a leading enterprise feels compelled to bow to pressure from Beijing, will Apple Inc. eventually share Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau users' data with Chinese officials?

Western countries originally hoped for the peaceful rise of China. However, Western enterprises are increasingly compromising with China and accepting market regulations "with Chinese characteristics." Beijing no longer asks just governments to commit to its "One-China principle," it is now asking private companies to make the same commitment.

40 years ago, Taiwan withdrew from the United Nations and Taiwan officials and companies worked together to forge a path for the nation through economic and trade diplomacy. What can Taiwan do this time? (Editorial abstract - Jan. 13, 2018) (Summarized by Christie Chen)

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