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Left: Jon Stewart; proper: Tim Prepare dinner.
Did Apple and Jon Stewart half methods over China? Members of Congress want to know.
The Home Choose Committee on the Chinese language Communist Celebration on Wednesday despatched a letter to Apple chief government Tim Prepare dinner asking that he clarify why the corporate will now not produce “The Drawback With Jon Stewart” for its streaming service — AppleTV+.
The bipartisan letter — signed by Chairman Rep. Mike Gallagher, a Wisconsin Republican, and Rating Member Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, a Democrat from Illinois — requested that Apple present the committee with a briefing by Dec. 15, 2023, so that they’ll higher perceive the explanation for the present’s cancelation. The letter additionally requested Apple to make a public dedication that content material probably seen as vital of the Chinese language Communist Celebration can be welcome on the corporate’s companies.
CNN beforehand reported that Stewart was approached by Apple executives who have been involved in regards to the present’s dialogue of China and synthetic intelligence, in keeping with a number of present employees members with whom Stewart mentioned the matter. Apple executives instructed Stewart they each wanted to be aligned relating to the subjects, which he declined, as an alternative saying that he needed full inventive management over his present. Apple then threatened to cancel the present, after which Stewart walked away.
“If these studies are correct, it probably speaks to broader issues about oblique Chinese language Communist Celebration (CCP) affect over the inventive expression of American artists and corporations on CCP-related subjects,” the committee stated within the letter. “It additionally highlights a further motive, past the traditionally-cited nationwide safety rationales, why we encourage Apple to speed up its efforts to scale back its dependence on the [People’s Republic of China] in its core enterprise.”
“Whereas firms have the proper to find out what content material is suitable for his or her streaming service, the coercive ways of a overseas energy shouldn’t be immediately or not directly influencing these determinations,” the lawmakers added.
Representatives for Apple and Stewart didn’t instantly reply to CNN requests for remark.
The letter added that whereas Stewart, a high-profile comic, can probably discover one other house for his present following his exit from Apple, lesser-known comedians could battle to discover a platform to precise their views on issues associated to China. Whereas China has a “lengthy observe report of retaliating in opposition to firms that fail to stroll the Celebration’s line,” the committee stated within the letter, the incident raises issues over the Xi administration’s “coercive ways on U.S. firms.”
To keep away from such coercion, the letter encourages that Apple “urgently work to diversify provide chains and scale back total technological dependencies on” China, which supplies the Chinese language Communist Celebration with financial leverage.
China represents almost a fifth of Apple’s gross sales and is by far the corporate’s fastest-growing area.