Earlier this month, Apple removed an app including three of dissident writer Wang Lixiong’s books from its App Store in China. Wang’s wife, the famous Tibetan blogger Tsering Woeser accuses Apple of bowing to the Chinese government for the sake of economic interests:
Although Wang Lixiong’s banned publications are not available at bookstores and online in China, many Chinese readers are avid readers of these banned books. Their pirated versions were widely circulated. Many Chinese readers got to understand issues about Tibet and Xinjiang and their history, current situation and importance through his work. I actually got to meet him from reading Sky Burial.
It is encouraging to see banned books on the internet–a contribution of internet technology to mankind. The reason internet is so great is that it broke various kinds of boundaries, like a soaring bird, or a blooming flower. Intellectual thinking should not comply to authoritarianism. Symbols of technological advancement such as Apple should not yield to the Chinese Communist Party.
Unfortunately, through incidents like Wang Lixiong’s books being banned, we realized Apple had surrendered itself, like the old Chinese saying, ‘If you have money, you can make the devil push the millstone for you.’ I heard there is an English expression similar to that–Money makes the world go around.
See more on Woeser via CDT.