In 4,000 words starting on its front page, the New York Times tries and fails to prove that Xi Jinping has pulled a fast one on Apple.
On the outskirts of this city in a poor, mountainous province in southwestern China, men in hard hats recently put the finishing touches on a white building a quarter-mile long with few windows and a tall surrounding wall. There was little sign of its purpose, apart from the flags of Apple and China flying out front, side by side.
Inside, Apple was preparing to store the personal data of its Chinese customers on computer servers run by a state-owned Chinese firm.
Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, has said the data is safe. But at the data center in Guiyang, which Apple hoped would be completed by next month, and another in the Inner Mongolia region, Apple has largely (emphasis mine) ceded control to the Chinese government.
“Largely” here is meant to cover the hole at the center of this 4,000-word front-page story. The New York Times implies the data on Chinese iPhones has been compromised. Tim Cook says it hasn’t. Cue the video:
My take: Did the Times’ reporting show that Tim Cook was wrong? You have to read 40 paragraphs before you get to this…
Documents reviewed by The Times do not show that the Chinese government has gained access to the data. They only indicate that Apple has made compromises that make it easier for the government to do so.