Apple will not testify before congressional hearing over China ties

Tim Cook
Tim Cook (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple has declined a request to testify at a congressional hearing in March.
  • TikTok was also invited by Senator Josh Hawley on Monday, February 24.
  • The hearing is probing tech and its ties to China.

Apple and TikTok have declined to testify before a congressional hearing probing technology and its ties to China.

As reported by the Washington Post:

Apple and TikTok each have declined a request to testify at a March congressional hearing that would have probed their relationships with China, a move that threatens to ratchet up tensions with federal lawmakers who see Beijing as a privacy and security threat.Republican Sen. Josh Hawley (Mo.), one of TikTok's leading critics, had invited the two tech firms to appear at a March 4 session, his office confirmed Monday. Both previously had declined to testify at a hearing last year on the same issue.

According to the report, TikTok does plan to send an aide to engage with the subcommittee, albeit at an unspecified later date, citing several new hires at the company. Apple did not comment on its absence.

Apple was blasted by Senator Hawley in November last year after it failed to appear at a similar hearing. Hawley claimed that Apple's ties with the nation risked "compromise with authoritarianism" stating:

"We're accustomed in hearings like this one to hearing about Apple as a good corporate citizen... But Apple's business model and business practices are increasingly entangled with China, a fact they would rather we think not too much about."

Recently, a group of organizations penned an open letter to Apple about its "serious concerns" regarding Apple's enabling of censorship and surveillance in China, citing instances such as the removal of the app from the app store, as well as the removal of the Taiwanese flag from the iOS keyboard for users in Hong Kong and China.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9