FM urges US to stop smearing China to cover up its notorious hacking activities
Published: May 18, 2021 06:43 PM
Zhao Lijian Photo: VCG

Zhao Lijian Photo: VCG

China's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday called on the US to stop smearing China just to cover up its notorious hacking and spying activities known around the world, after a US media report accused Apple of risking its customers' data in compromise with the Chinese government.

In a report on Monday, the New York Times claimed that Apple had made compromise with the Chinese government by storing customer data on Chinese government servers, sharing data with the Chinese government and removing apps to "placate" Chinese officials. 

Apple has refuted the claims in detail, saying the assertions are based on inaccurate information.

Asked about the report at a press briefing on Tuesday, Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said that he was not aware of the specific situation about Apple but offered a firm response.

"Respecting China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and abiding by China's laws and regulations are the basic principles and obligations of all foreign companies operating in China," Zhao said, 

Regarding data protection, Zhao said that Chinese law makes clear provisions on protecting the legitimate rights and interests of citizens and organizations, including data security and personal information. "The Chinese government strictly adheres to principles of data security protection and prohibits and cracks down on relevant illegal activities in accordance with the law," he said.

The spokesperson also harshly criticized the US' hacking and spying activities, saying that the US is a notorious empire of hacking and stealing secretes that did not spare even its allies. "The US should stop the plot of a thief crying 'stop thief' to smear China," Zhao said. 

In a lengthy statement, Apple also firmly pushed back against the assertions in the New York Times' report. 

"We have never compromised the security of our users or their data in China or anywhere we operate. Many of the assertions in this report are based on incomplete, outdated and inaccurate information," the company said.