A new report published today by non-profit organization Green America and industry watchdog China Labor Watch accuses Apple of various violations of Chinese labor laws at one of its suppliers in the country (via NYTimes). The investigation focused on Apple supplier Catcher Technology in Suqian, China and claims to have found violations similar to those found during an audit of the same supplier last year: Read more
If you thought things were messy with U.S. networks, Verizon and Sprint using CMDA and AT&T and T-Mobile using GSM, things are even worse in China – with WCDMA, CDMA2000, CDMA1X, GSM, TDD-LTE and FDD-LTE all in use by different carriers in different combinations.
The iPhone 6 may be about to make life a whole lot easier, though, with Sina (via ZDNet) reporting that the model sold by China Telecom at least will support all of the wireless networks in use in the country, based on a Weibo post by the carrier. Admittedly the image used in the Weibo above looks a little different than the general consensus we’ve seen before – they were created by Tomas Moyano and Nicolàs Aichino, and China Telecom likely downloaded them from Bēhance.
That aside, the message they are sending might be more interesting…
Not content with a blatant copy of the iPad mini and a smartphone called the Mi Phone, Xiaomi’s latest Android overlay – MIUI 6 – bears more than a passing resemblance to iOS 7. The flat icons, the icon screens scrolling above the fixed app tray at the bottom, the calendar, calculator, compass … Read more
Update: Apple confirmed the use of China Telecom servers in a statement to the Wall Street Journal.
But the company said Friday in a statement to The Wall Street Journal that all data stored is encrypted, meaning China Telecom won’t have access to its content.
“Apple takes user security and privacy very seriously. We have added China Telecom to our list of data center providers to increase bandwidth and improve performance for our customers in mainland China,” it said.
Apple has begun using Chinese data centers to store iCloud data for local Apple customers, the first time Apple has used mainland China for iCloud account and information storage. On a municipal government website, Fuzhuo City Telecom said that ‘Apple China has completed the iCloud data dump into China Telecom’s cloud services’. The post has since been taken down from the government site, however.
In an email to employees, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared his “deepest sympathies” to the people of Yunnan, China after the region was struck by a disastrous earthquake this past weekend. The earthquake took the lives of 589 people and caused the relocation of over 200,000 people, according to reports. Here’s Cook’s internal memo to employees, which was provided by a source:
Our deepest sympathies go out to the people of China’s Yunnan Province, which was struck by a devastating 6.5-magnitude earthquake over the weekend. Nearly 600 people died and over 2400 were injured in the worst earthquake to hit the region in 100 years. Rescuers have evacuated 230,000 people who are now displaced from their homes. The road to Longtoushan Township, the epicenter of the quake, has been blocked by landslides, making the rescue effort there even more challenging. Apple is eager to help. We are making a financial donation in support of the work of Mercy Corps and CFPA (China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation) to get supplies and relief to those affected by the earthquake and to help them through the process of healing and recovery. The tragedy in Yunnan Province is on the minds of many in the Apple community. Apple has over 6500 employees in China and Hong Kong as well as a growing developer community and deep ties to the workers in our supply chain who make Apple products. In this time of tragedy, our thoughts are with the victims and their families.
Cook says that Apple will be making a monetary donation to groups that provide relief efforts for those hurt by the earthquake and its ramifications. Reports indicate that the donation is worth 10 million Yuan, which converts to just over $1.6 million. Cook also notes that Apple has deep ties to the area as Apple has over 6500 employees in China, many third-party developers, and family members of supply chain personnel. Apple has also posted a message on its China homepage:
Steve Jobs famously declared back in 2010 that Android was a stolen product, and he was willing to “go thermonuclear war” in order to “destroy” it.
“I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,” Jobs said. “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”
Back in April, I suggested three reasons it might be time for Apple to settle its Android disputes and move on. The relatively small damages award in the most recent case (and which now looks set to be further reduced) provided a fourth reason not long after I wrote that piece. But I think the case today is even more compelling … Read more
The reported ban on national and local government departments purchasing Apple products was just a misunderstanding, according to statements by the Finance Ministry and Central Government Procurement Centre cited by Reuters.
The statements say that the procurement list referred to by Bloomberg was just one of many, and listed only “energy-saving products.” China claims that Apple products did not make this list despite qualifying because the necessary paperwork had not been completed … Read more
After a Chinese state-run TV channel last month described the iPhone as a “national security concern” (a claim Apple denied), Bloomberg reports that the Chinese government has stepped up its war on Apple by removing the company’s products from its procurement lists.
Ten Apple products — including the iPad, iPad Mini, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro — were omitted from a final government procurement list distributed in July, according to officials who read it and asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The models were on a June version of the list drafted by the National Development and Reform Commission and Ministry of Finance, the officials said …
After showing more journalists around its solar-powered North Carolina data center (where it is building a third solar farm), Apple says that its new focus for renewable energy is its supply chain. The Guardian reports that the sapphire factory in Arizona forms part of this initiative.
The company is also moving to install solar and geothermal power at a plant in Mesa, Arizona that has been manufacturing sapphire glass. Apple would not directly comment on the Arizona factory but the state’s governor, Jan Brewer, has publicly praised the company’s decision to relocate there and to use solar and geothermal in manufacturing.
Apple’s VP of environmental initiatives Lisa Jackson said that the company is conscious that its supply chain cannot claim the same green credentials as Apple itself … Read more
Following releasing its second quarter data for tablet shipments worldwide, IDC today released its Q2 2014 report for smartphone shipments during the three month period that ended in June. The numbers line up with Apple’s fiscal Q3 earnings call that took place earlier this month where the company reported iPhone sales of 35.1 million units for the quarter. With 295.3 million units shipped total during Q2, and consumers anticipating a new iPhone this fall, IDC notes that both Samsung and Apple lost share to the smaller Chinese manufacturers: Read more
Apple has officially announced plans to open its new Wuxi, China retail store on August 2nd, according to a listing on the company’s website.
The new establishment, which will be the 12th official Apple retail store in the country, will be located in the Center 66 Mall (pictured above). However, there don’t seem to be any photos of Apple’s new space available just yet, as the company still undoubtedly has some work to do before it’s ready for the public eye.
The Wuxi store, like the Chongqing store opening next week, is a continuation of Apple’s plan to increase its presence in China over the course of 2014 and 2015 under the guidance of new VP of Retail Angela Ahrednts.
This past week, Chinese State TV called the iPhone a “national security concern” because of its location tracking capabilities. The iPhone’s operating system utilizes location for several applications, including Maps and Weather. iOS 7 also introduced a new feature that utilizes a customer’s location in order to provide improved traffic and route information. Now, Apple has quickly responded via a concrete and comprehensive message on its website for China. The message is advertised on the homepage, and is a direct response to the allegations from China State TV.
Apple denies the claims by stating that “privacy is built into [its] products and services from the earliest stages of design. We work tirelessly to deliver the most secure hardware and software in the world.” Apple also explains that it uses industry leading encryption to protect location data, and says that all location data is stored solely on the iPhone, not on Apple’s servers.
Apple goes on to, once again, explain that it does not work with government agencies to spy on its customers: “Apple has never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services. We have also never allowed access to our servers. And we never will. It’s something we feel very strongly about.” Apple goes on to list specific work it does for individual services in order to protect customer privacy.