An expert on the Communist Chinese Party (CCP) who chronicles China’s current affairs reacted Wednesday to a damning report that Apple CEO Tim Cook paid the Chinese government $275 billion to curry favor with President Xi Jinping.
Simone Gao is a Chinese-born filmmaker and an award-winning reporter.
In her home country, she worked as a journalist for China Central Television (CCTV), China’s largest state-run media outlet.
She came to the United States for college 20 years ago. But she practices a type of meditation that was banned by Xi’s regime, and could not return to her home country.
Since then, she’s been working to expose the CCP’s misdeeds.
She said that even for a Big Tech CEO, Cook’s secret $275 billion deal with the Chinese government is not typical.
“I think this abnormal even for big tech companies,” she told The Tennessee Star. “This is not something happening every day.”
She explained that American-based multinational tech companies often have representatives who are part of an official advisory board for Xi, but that CEOs are usually not part of this group.
Gao described the advisory board as a “backchannel” to Wall Street and Washington, and noted that former President Donald J. Trump’s infamous trade war with the Asian superpower diminished Xi’s reliance on the board.
The bombshell report said that Cook secretly agreed to pay the Chinese government more than a quarter of a trillion dollars over a five year period after the CCP leaned on the Apple, accusing it of “not doing enough to help the local economy,” which had caused the CCP to sour on Apple.
The report also claimed that Cook signed this deal with a Chinese government agency, though it did not say which agency exactly.
Doing favors for the CCP is the quickest way to gain Xi’s favor, and is a typical practice among large Chinese-run companies.
“Right now, not just Apple, but every big tech company like Alibaba, they all try to appease Xi’s goal of common prosperity, to make everybody rich,” Gao said. “These Chinese companies donate hundreds of millions of dollars to gain Xi Jinping’s favor. I think Apple is doing the same.”
“For example, Alibaba invested in the farm business, to help farmers raise pigs,” she said. “This has nothing to do with E-Commerce. It’s just to please Xi Jinping.”
Gao said that the American government should be doing more to monitor the relationships between Big Tech Companies and CCP government agencies. Those CCP agencies, she said, have offices inside the Big Tech companies there, specifically for the purpose of collecting data and spying on Chinese citizens, and even potentially monitoring Americans.
Contingencies of Cook’s alleged deal included “promises to increase its use of Chinese suppliers for device components, to work with Chinese software firms and invest in tech companies, and to work with Chinese universities on new technologies.”
Apple also promised to “strictly abide by Chinese laws and regulations,” though China is infamous for medieval levels of censorship and oppression of its own citizens.
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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Tim Cook” by president.gov.ua. CC BY-SA 4.0. Photo “Xi Jinping” by Officia do Palácio do Planalto. CC BY 2.0.