Apple Declines Request to Testify at U.S. Congressional Hearing Probing Ties to China

Apple has again declined a request to testify at a U.S. congressional hearing that is part of a wider investigation into Chinese influence on technology companies.

chinese flag
According to The Washington Post, both Apple and TikTok declined an invitation from U.S. Senator Josh Hawley to attend the hearing, which took place on Monday, February 24.

Apple and TikTok each have declined a request to testify at a March congressional hearing that would have probed their relationships with China, a move that threatens to ratchet up tensions with federal lawmakers who see Beijing as a privacy and security threat.

Republican Sen. Josh Hawley (Mo.), one of TikTok's leading critics, had invited the two tech firms to appear at a March 4 session, his office confirmed Monday. Both previously had declined to testify at a hearing last year on the same issue.

According to the Post, TikTok has said it plans to send a representative to engage with the subcommittee at a later date, but Apple has not commented on its absence.

Apple and TikTok skipped a similar hearing in November last year, leaving two chairs empty at the meeting with only placards bearing the companies' names.

Senator Hawley, who is a frequent critic of Apple for its ties with China, attacked the company for its no-show, saying its entanglement with the country's authoritarian government was "a fact they would rather we think not too much about."

In October, U.S. lawmakers called out Apple for not standing up for democratic values and free speech in Hong Kong, after it pulled an app from the App Store that protestors had been using to track police movements in the city state, saying it violated the company's guidelines and local laws.

Apple initially approved the app after reviewing its decision to initially reject it app from the ‌‌App Store‌‌. Its reversal came after the Chinese Communist Party's flagship newspaper criticized the company for letting the app into its store.

"Apple assured me last week that their initial decision to ban this app was a mistake," tweeted senator Hawley at the time. "Looks like the Chinese censors have had a word with them since. Who is really running Apple? ‌Tim Cook‌ or Beijing?"

In a related development today, The Guardian reports that Apple could be forced to disclose details of censorship requests from China after two major shareholder groups backed a proposal that would force the tech giant to make new human rights commitments.

The motion is set to be voted on by the company’s investors on Wednesday, and was prompted by numerous allegations of Apple kowtowing to Beijing and blocking apps from being used by Chinese customers. Apple reportedly failed in an attempt to block the vote from taking place.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tag: China

Top Rated Comments

brendu Avatar
52 months ago
Apple can’t answer these questions because then it becomes clear how much China does influence Apple. My only wish for Apple is that they can diversify their manufacturing around the world instead of all in China.
Score: 47 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jarman74 Avatar
52 months ago

Apple has a business to run. Can't blame them for not wanting to take part in this mundane, political, masturbation. The current congress is a bunch of nuts.
Doesn't Apple have a business to run when it shoves its SJW agenda down our throats?

If Apple truly believes in what it stands for, it should sit through some uncomfortable hearings.
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
imom Avatar
52 months ago
Shame on Tim Cook for pandering to an evil regime.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kabeyun Avatar
52 months ago
Sometimes a congressional hearing is convened because a Senate or House committee doesn’t understand something and needs to ask legitimate questions of an expert, prepared to broaden their understanding of an issue.

Sometimes a congressional hearing is convened so a biased tool with a premeditated agenda can spend time verbally abusing the person in the testimony chair so they can score PR points with their grandstanding at the witness’s expense.

I’m thinking Tim Cook and Apple legal correctly decided not to go with option B.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
IIGS User Avatar
52 months ago

Josh Hawley voted against allowing testimony in the Senate trial for Donald Trump, so he has zero business expecting anyone to bother to testify for his own inquiries on China. What a joke.
Everything is Trump Trump Trump.

Well, at least you'll have something to talk about for the next 4+ years....
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ryanwarsaw Avatar
52 months ago
Apple has a business to run. Can't blame them for not wanting to take part in this mundane, political, masturbation. The current congress is a bunch of nuts.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
iPhone Notch

Apple Explored These Notch and Dynamic Island Designs for iPhones

Friday February 23, 2024 2:05 pm PST by
With the iPhone 14 Pro models in 2022, Apple introduced the Dynamic Island, which can morph and expand to display system alerts, sports scores, and a variety of other information. The feature makes the space surrounding the front camera and Face ID sensors useful compared to the notch on older iPhone models. Apple explored a variety of ideas for the iPhone's notch area over the years before...
General Apps Messages

Apple Announces 'Groundbreaking' New Security Protocol for iMessage

Wednesday February 21, 2024 6:00 am PST by
Apple today announced a new post-quantum cryptographic protocol for iMessage called PQ3. Apple says this "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks." Apple believes the PQ3 protocol's protections "surpass those in all other widely deployed messaging apps," according to its blog post:Today we are announcing...
Next Generation CarPlay Porsche 1

Apple Launching Next-Generation CarPlay This Year With These New Features

Wednesday February 21, 2024 2:03 pm PST by
Apple recently updated its website to confirm that the first vehicle models with next-generation CarPlay support will debut "in 2024." This wording is shown on Apple's regional websites for the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries. The iOS 17.4 beta includes code-level references to eight new CarPlay apps:Auto Settings: This app will let you manage paired iPhones...
cracked glass vision pro

Handful of Apple Vision Pro Units Develop Identical Crack in Cover Glass

Friday February 23, 2024 4:46 am PST by
A small number of Apple Vision Pro owners have claimed that their headsets developed a hairline crack down the middle of the front cover glass, despite having never been dropped or mishandled. Photo of hairline crack in Vision Pro front glass (credit: Reddit user Inphenite) The first report was posted in the subreddit /r/VisionPro about 18 days ago, and several more have appeared in the last...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Monday February 19, 2024 6:52 am PST by
Apple last month confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU and Apple Podcasts transcripts. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay later this year. More details about the new...
General Apps Messages

iOS 17.4 to Add This 'Groundbreaking' New Messaging Feature

Friday February 23, 2024 5:05 am PST by
With iOS 17.4, set to arrive in March 2024, Apple is bringing a new cryptographic security feature to iMessage called PQ3. This "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks," according to Apple. Let's break down what that means. Apple's iMessage service already supports end-to-end encryption, but security...
New Macs iPads iOS 17 4

What to Expect at Potential Apple Event in March: iPads, Macs, and More

Friday February 23, 2024 8:35 am PST by
Apple often holds its first media event of the year in March, so the company could be just weeks away from announcing new products. Below, we have outlined what to expect from a potential Apple Event this March. Past Apple Events in March Apple has held five events in March since 2015:Monday, March 9, 2015 Monday, March 21, 2016 Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Monday, March 25, 2019 Tuesday,...