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Rubio Joins Wyden, Colleagues in Condemning Apple and Activision Blizzard Action to Enforce Chinese Government Censorship

Oct 18, 2019 | Press Releases

Miami, FL –  U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined Ron Wyden (D-OR) and a bipartisan group of lawmakers in condemning Apple and Activision Blizzard’s recent actions to suppress criticism of the Chinese government in hopes of gaining higher profits. 
Apple recently removed the HKMap mapping app, which was widely used by peaceful Hong Kong protestors, from the App Store at the request of the Chinese government, and has censored more than 2,200 apps in China according to the nonprofit group GreatFire. 
Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Ted Cruz (R-TX) were joined by U.S. Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Mike Gallagher (R-WI), and Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) condemning the moves in a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook. 
“You have said publicly that you want to work with China’s leaders to effect change rather than sit on the sidelines and yell at them. We, too, believe that diplomacy and trade can be democratizing forces. But when a repressive government refuses to evolve or, indeed, when it doubles down, cooperation can become complicity,” the lawmakers wrote.
Rubio, Wyden, Ocasio-Cortez, Gallagher, and Malinowski also sent a letter to Activision Blizzard CEO Robert Kotick urging the company to reverse its decision to ban players who have voiced support for pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, particularly its ban on Mr. Ng Wai Chung. 
“As China amplifies its campaign of intimidation, you and your company must decide whether to look beyond the bottom line and promote American values—like freedom of speech and thought—or to give in to Beijing’s demands in order to preserve market access. We urge you in the strongest terms to reconsider your decision with respect to Mr. Chung,” the lawmakers wrote.