Lawmakers lash out at Apple for censoring a song about Tiananmen Square protests

Members of Congress are criticizing Apple for censoring their music to comply with the Chinese government. The Apple Music service in China recently eliminated several Hong Kong singers from its platform, as reported by the Hong Kong Free Press .

"It is a shame to see one of the most innovative and influential technology companies in the United States support the aggressive censorship efforts of the Chinese Communist government in China as we approach the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre," he says. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) The Verge

Rubio describes the Chinese government as a regime that "built a totalitarian state through truly Orwellian levels of mass surveillance, censorship of thoughts and human development." abuses of rights. "He notes how Apple had closed its eyes" in the eyes of complicity [its] "in exchange for market access.

Two of the censored singers, Denise Ho and Anthony Wong, are activists favor of democracy The other singer, Jacky Cheung, released a song written by James Wong, who confirmed that the lyrics referring to the protests of Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Cheung's song "The way of man" It contained the words: "The young are angry, heaven and earth are crying / How did our land become a sea of ​​blood? / How did the road home turn into a path of no return? "The lyrics are a direct reference to the bloodshed that took place on June 4, 1989. Internet users noticed over the weekend that Cheung's song had been withdrawn from Apple Music service in China

Rep Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) admonished Apple on Wednesday for not having the opportunity to "be a stronger voice for freedom around the world." Also retweeted comments from an executive director in a human rights group reminiscent of the victims of communist regimes. "It's just the latest example of a US technology company that chooses to be an accomplice of the Chinese Communist Party's high-tech totalitarian state," reads In the tweet, when asked for a comment, Rodgers' office forwarded The Verge to the tweet.

"This news is extremely disturbing. When reports like this arise, we must ask serious questions to ensure that human rights are protected, and if these reports are true, Apple owes an explanation to the public, "Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) said in a statement. [19659009] By removing a song that makes reference to the Tiananmen Massacre, @apple is actively participating in the Chinese Communist Party's agenda to clean up the colossal violations it has committed against the Chinese people of collective memory and the history of rewriting
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– Yaqiu Wang 王亚秋 (@Yaqiu) April 9, 2019

"American citizens value the First Amendment and the ability to speak freely, even on controversial issues, "Representative Bob Latta (R-OH) told The Verge today:" It is very disturbing that Apple, according to recent reports, would accept the demands of Chinese officials to censure for the music of democracy. " We should expect something better from these companies, and Apple should address these claims. "

Every year, around June 4, the Chinese government begins to censor the mentions of the protests, but this time, Apple joined, especially in Its music platform Apple has previously censored the emoji of the Taiwanese flag to appease China, which maintains that Taiwan is part of China.The censorship, even unintentionally, created an error that collapsed users' phones when they received messages with the emoji of the Taiwanese flag Apple has also removed VPN applications from its App Store, which are services that would have helped users to jump over the Chinese firewall.

Music has proven to be more challenging and more unequal. All the songs of Anthony Wong were eliminated except one innocently titled "Do You Still Love Me?" All the songs of Jacky Cheung remain except the offensive And Denise Ho, an open activist whose music is regularly purged from Chinese broadcast services and is banned from opening social media accounts in China, has been completely excluded from Apple Music in China. The Taiwanese, Hong Kong and United States versions of Apple Music still offer the songs.

As Apple expands its retail operations in China, it has increasingly aligned with the country's national government. The company moved the data of its Chinese users to a local firm in southern China last year, the company Guizhou-Cloud Big Data (GCBD), which has close ties to the Chinese Communist Party. Apple's lawyers also added a clause in the Chinese terms of service that give GCBD and Apple access to all user data. The movement caused problems for human rights monitors at the time, and some called Apple a "liquidation."

Makena Kelly contributed to this report.

Update April 12, 1:40 p.m. ET: This article has been updated with a statement from Representative Bob Latta.

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