Apple CEO Tim Cook Hides Behind Staffers As He’s Grilled For Enabling Communist China’s Human Rights Abuses
UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 1: Apple CEO Tim Cook leaves Sen. John Thunes Republican Whip office in the Capitol on Thursday, December 1, 2022.
Bill Clark / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Apple CEO Tim Cook hid behind staffers Tuesday to avoid answering questions from a reporter who grilled him on Apple enabling the Chinese Communist Party’s human rights abuses.

Cook hid from Fox News reporter Hillary Vaughn as he was leaving a meeting with U.S. lawmakers in the nation’s capital.

“Do you support the Chinese people’s right to protest?” Vaughn asked.

Cook did not respond.

“Do you have any reaction to the factory workers that were beaten and detained for protesting COVID lockdowns?” Vaughn asked.

Cook did not respond.

“Do you regret restricting airdrop access that protesters used to evade surveillance from the Chinese government?” Vaughn asked.

Cook did not respond.

“Do you think it’s problematic to do business with the Communist Chinese Party when they suppress human rights?” Vaughn asked.

Cook did not respond.


Protests intensified over the weekend in major cities across China, including Beijing, Shanghai, and Wuhan. According to media reports, a demonstration in Shanghai eventually devolved into chaos, with police clashing with protesters and deploying pepper spray. The protests emerged as a response to the “zero COVID” policies imposed by the Chinese Communist Party government since the beginning of the pandemic.

The protests reportedly began on Thursday after ten people were killed in a fire at a residential high-rise building in Urumqi, the capital city of Xinjiang Autonomous Region. Videos of the incident posted on social media spawned accusations that lockdowns contributed to the deaths, The New York Times and Reuters reported. Residents of the city have been locked down and prevented from leaving their homes for as long as 100 days at a time, Reuters added.

According to the Associated Press and Reuters, protesters gathered at Wulumuqi Road in Shanghai on Saturday, which is named after Urumqi, to hold a candlelight vigil in memory of the victims of the fire. Around 100 police officers stood by to reportedly keep demonstrators from gathering.

At some point during the night, police deployed pepper spray into a crowd of about 300 protesters. A witness told the AP that one of his friends was beaten, and two others were pepper sprayed. He added that police stepped on his feet while he tried to prevent them from taking his friend away; he also lost his shoes in the chaos and was left barefoot.

Outside Shanghai, major cities and college campuses were also the scenes of major protests. Reuters reported that demonstrations broke out in the cities of Wuhan, Chengdu, Lanzhou, and Beijing on Sunday. Protests in Wuhan reportedly turned violent, with demonstrators smashing through metal barricades, overturning testing tents, and demanding an end to lockdowns. The New York Times reported another protest in the city of Korla in northern Xinjiang.

John Rigolizzo contributed to this report.

Related: Elon Musk Meets With Apple CEO Tim Cook, Reveals ‘Resolved’ Issue

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Apple CEO Tim Cook Hides Behind Staffers As He’s Grilled For Enabling Communist China’s Human Rights Abuses