Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Apple CEO Tim Cook Praises China's Censored Internet

"Beggars' Conference" mocks high profile figures such as Apple's Tim Cook and Google's Sundar Pichai who have attended in apparent hope of winning Beijing's favor; "World Spenders' Conference", on the other hand, alludes to a crudely homophonous expression of scorn for Chinese leaders' generosity in dispensing it to foreigners, rather than China's own people.

China confirms that its digital economy accounts for almost a third of gross domestic product, according to a report unveiled in the eastern city of Wuzhen during the fourth World Internet Conference where it declared that Chinese cyberspace is "open" - but subject to controls for the greater good. Since then Google, Gmail, Youtube and its other products are banned in the world's second largest economy.

The conference was also addressed by Apple CEO Tim Cook and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

After the ban, Google subsequently shifted its operations to Hong Kong.

After AAPL removed several means of private communication from the Apple App Store in China, it received harsh criticism from speech rights groups.

Pichai's attendance at the state sponsored internet meeting came after China recently lifted the ban on Google translation services.

Apple, Facebook find something to praise China for amid internet clamp WUZHEN, China: Top executives at Apple Inc and Facebook Inc managed to find something to praise Beijing for at an internet conference in China this week, even as its Communist Party rulers ban Western social media and stamp on online dissent.

"The theme of this conference - developing a digital economy for openness and shared benefits - is a vision we at Apple share", Cook said, as reported by Bloomberg.

The previous three conferences in 2014, 2015 and 2016 were not attended by top United States tech executives including Cook and Pichai, the Post report said. The directive orders censors to "intercept, find, and delete content attacking the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen on interactive platforms such as Weibo, blogs, public WeChat accounts, forums, and bulletin boards".

The Chinese government uses the event to pursue its argument that its censorship and regulation of the internet does not harm the development of technology and business prosperity.

China represents one of Apple's biggest markets, one that it is paying dearly for.

But China has maintained that its various forms of web censorship are necessary for protecting its national security.

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