Apple has long been known as a pioneering and rule-breaking tech company with a dedication to privacy and free expression.
Now, they're apparently continuing that tradition by developing bold new ways to appease Communist China:
Apple CEO Tim Cook personally met with Chinese officials in 2016 and pledged to invest $275 billion into the local economy over a five-year period in exchange for Beijing allowing the iPhone maker to freely do business on the mainland.
Cook visited China in 2016 after the government shut down iTunes books and movies. Beijing was also threatening features such as Apple Pay, iCloud, and the App Store, according to The Information.
Cook and Communist Party officials came to a 1,250-word 'memorandum of understanding,' according to the report. Apple pledged to invest some $275 billion into the Chinese economy over a period of five years.
I mean, this goes without saying, but $275 billion is... a lot of money. It's more than a quarter of a trillion dollars.
That kind of investment probably could have done a whole heck of a lot of good... oh, you know, anywhere else in the world.
Apple agreed to a series of concessions in exchange for regulatory exemptions from the Chinese government, The Information reported.
China, in turn, only made a vague pledge to provide 'necessary support and assistance.'
But I guess that's what Apple is now. Once upon a time, you could expect the company to buck the trend and think outside the box.
Now they're shelling out gargantuan sums to appease a communist dictatorship. And apparently no one cares.
News of Apple's secret 2016 deal with China didn't appear to affect its performance on Wall Street. Shares of the company were trading at more than 3 percent higher before noon on Tuesday.