Barr accused American companies of being compliant with China

The Prosecutor General’s criticism is directed at tech giants and Hollywood companies.

US Attorney General William Barr on Thursday criticized Hollywood companies, including Walt Disney, as well as technology giants such as Apple, Alphabet, Google, and Microsoft, condemning their stance against China.

“Corporations like Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Apple are showing too much willingness to cooperate with the Chinese Communist Party,” Barr said.

He added that Hollywood regularly gives in to pressure and censors its films “to appease the Chinese Communist Party.”

Representatives of the companies and the Chinese Embassy in Washington do not comment yet. Apple declined to comment.

“I think Walt Disney would be disappointed to see how the company he founded does business with the foreign dictatorships of our time,” Barr said, speaking at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Michigan.

Barr rebuked American companies for being too accommodating to ensure access to the vast Chinese market.

“The Chinese Communist party has been thinking for decades and centuries, while we tend to focus on the next quarterly report,” Barr said. “Major American technology companies have also allowed themselves to become pawns of Chinese influence.”

In recent months, US-China relations have been strained by disagreements over issues such as the global coronavirus pandemic, trade imbalances, the crackdown on protests in Hong Kong, Beijing’s expansion in the South China Sea, and the oppression of the Muslim minority in China.

Barr expressed the opinion that Apple’s iPhone smartphones “would not be sold (in China) if they were reliably protected from penetration by the Chinese authorities.” He suggested that American tech companies are using a “double standard.”

Barr recalled that after the introduction of the new national security law in Hong Kong, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and LinkedIn announced the suspension of government requests for user data.
“By working together, they can become a worthy example for other American companies in resisting the corrupt and dictatorial rule of the Chinese Communist Party,” the Attorney General said.