Apple CEO Tim Cook visited Washington, D.C., Thursday to bolster support from lawmakers amid growing criticism.
- As newly elected Representatives prepare to take their seats on Capitol Hill, Big Tech companies are evaluating where they stand.
- Apple CEO Tim Cook visited members of the U.S. House and Senate to further foster relationships with the lawmakers.
- In particular, Cook is up against criticism from Republican officials who claim that Big Tech carries out biased censorship.
- The company also faces some criticism for its relationship with China. For example, an update in China to AirDrop, which allows sharing images device to device, could make it more difficult for protestors to share videos.
Why it’s news
Apple has had its fair share of criticism, but with a Republican House majority likely to be less friendly to Big Tech, Cook will need to shore up relationships.
“I told [Cook] we want an American company to be everywhere. And we understand that, that means they’re going to be operating in places that don’t share our values, but that they still have to represent our values, and they should never be an instrument for the suppression of dissent,” Senator Brian Schatz told Axios.
Some Republicans still view Apple with suspicion after the tech company chose to block certain social-media sites like Parler from its app store. Others worry about potential security risks posed by Apple’s close relationship with China.
“We need assurances that Apple’s platform will not exclude people based on their own ideology. That’s what I asked for, and I received it. I got assurances that he would not have a thumb on the scale, and specifically that he would be Switzerland. That assurance was very meaningful to me… When someone promises to be Switzerland, it’s fairly easy to hold them accountable if they deviate off,” says Representative Darrell Issa.
Moving forward, Apple will need to find a way to work with both sides of the aisle, especially as Democrats hold control of the Senate and Republicans hold a slim majority in the House.