Apple defends complying with China over VPNs
Apple boss Tim Cook has defended his company’s decision to comply with the Chinese government’s demand it remove VPN software from the App Store.
Virtual Private Networks are often used to skirt censorship and surveillance in countries with tight restrictions on internet use.
The company has been heavily criticised for removing several VPN apps, and was accused of “aiding Chinese censorship efforts”.
Apple said it disagreed with China’s position but had to comply with the country’s laws.
“We would obviously rather not remove the apps,” Apple chief executive Tim Cook said on Tuesday.
“But like we do in other countries we follow the law wherever we do business.
Mr Cook said comparisons to a legal battle in the US last year – in which the firm refused to help the FBI unlock a dead terrorist’s iPhone – were unfair.
“They’re very different,” he said.
“In the case of the US, the law in the US supported us. I was very clear. In the case of China, the law is also very clear there. Like we would if the US changed the law here, we’d have to abide by them in both cases.”