Apple formally denies before Congress giving China access to its source code
Apple’s official expansion into the Chinese market has practically been a license to print money for the company, as the nation’s smartphone users take to the iPhone in droves. And while access to those shoppers has proved quite lucrative for Apple, it’s not unreasonable to wonder what sort of compromises Apple may have found itself forced to make to get that access. After all, the Chinese government loves leveraging technology to achieve its goals of censorship and social regulation; has Apple compromised on its principles in order to play ball? Today before Congress, Apple testified in regards to at least one rumor about what sort of assistance it may have given Chinese authorities, asserting that it’s refused requests to hand over source code.
The issue came up during the latest round of hearings before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee looking into the encryption issue that’s been such a big part of recent news, due in no small part to the FBI’s San Bernardino investigation.
Apple general counsel Bruce Sewell responded to claims that his company may have assisted the Chinese by turning over private source code (presumably dealing with security-related issues) by issuing a clear denial.
This isn’t to say that the Chinese haven’t been asking for that source code – and Apple admits that the nation’s done just that within the past couple years – but much like Apple said “no” to the US government’s request to develop a security-weakened version iOS that would facilitate its attempts to crack the iPhone 5c, Apple also declined to provide China with the assistance it wanted.