Apple has given in to Beijing's demands in recent years to continue operations in China, The New York Times reported.
The report mentioned five major things the electronics giant is doing to placate the communist nation, the first of which is storing customer data on Chinese government servers.
The NYT wrote that Apple decided in 2017 to transfer the data of its Chinese customers to computers owned and run by a Chinese state-owned business. According to security experts, the move would make it almost impossible for the American company to prevent Beijing from accessing its Chinese customers' addresses, images, contacts, calendars and location details.
Apple also shares consumer data with the Chinese government, according to the paper. After transferring data to China, the company entered into a legal agreement with Chinese authorities without breaking American laws.
Guizhou-Cloud Big Data (GCBD), a company owned by the Guizhou provincial government, has been designated as the legal owner of Apple's Chinese customers' iCloud data.
The two companies have reworded the Chinese iCloud terms and conditions to grant them "access to all data that you store on this service" and allowed them to share this data with each other, NYT reported. Chinese authorities can now demand consumer data from GCBD rather than Apple.
According to the paper, Apple also removes apps proactively to appease the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Apple has developed a framework that refuses or bans apps that it believes may infuriate party officials, and it trains its app reviewers and employs special software to inspect apps for any mention of taboo topics such as Tiananmen Square, Falun Gong, the Dalai Lama, Tibet and Taiwan.
Human rights activists and some lawmakers have lambasted Apple for the steps it takes, such as censoring news, to avoid violating laws that govern information distribution within China.
According to a statement obtained by the NYT, the company followed Chinese laws and did everything possible to keep customers' data safe.
"We have never compromised the security of our users or their data in China or anywhere we operate," Apple said.