On December 5, two Chinese nationals staged a hunger strike in front of Apple’s corporate headquarters in California.
VK, a (pseudonym), one of the duo, told Axios the hunger strike was inspired by the white paper movement in the mainland, adding that they had been waiting for this opportunity since the Tiananmen massacre over three decades ago.
Setting up a camp outside the Apple Campus, the pair urged Apple to stop making concessions to the Chinese government. They called for an end to worker exploitation in Foxconn plants, to restore full AirDrop function for iPhones sold in China, to stop censoring apps on the Chinese App Store, and speak up on Uyghur atrocities.
Apple silently restricted the AirDrop function on Chinese iPhones in November. Under a tightly censored China, protesters used to spread information by sending content to strangers via the file-sharing feature.
VK said, “The world including American consumers are not happy that Apple has bowed down to the [Chinese Communist Party].”
VK has requested to keep his identity private for fear of reprisals. He is accompanied by fellow student Wang Han, a University of Southern California graduate.
According to Radio Free Asia, the pair are planning to go on a hunger strike for seven days, drinking only water. VK said that they both would avoid endangering their health.
Both remained at the site late that night when rain caused the temperature to drop down to 10°C. The two activists said people have been visiting them and bringing supplies.
Wang told RFA, “To be honest, I expected Apple would not reply. If they reply to me tomorrow, I might not go on a hunger strike tomorrow.”