On Friday, National Legal and Policy Center presented a “Communist China Audit” proposal at Apple Inc‘s annual shareholder meeting that would require the company to produce a report that addresses its vulnerabilities related to its business and extensive supply chain in the communist country.
Apple’s board of directors opposed our proposal, as explained on pages 82-85 of the company’s proxy statement. NLPC’s response to the Apple’s board’s opposition statement was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in mid-February. NLPC also filed reports at the SEC that opposed the re-elections of CEO Tim Cook and Al Gore to the company’s board of directors.
Speaking at the meeting as sponsor of the resolution was Paul Chesser, director of NLPC’s Corporate Integrity Project. A transcript of his two-minute remarks follows:
Proposal number six seeks an audit report from the Company regarding its extensive risks of doing so much business in Communist China.
You need only point to CEO Tim Cook’s panicked reactions last fall when brutal dictator Xi Jinping imposed “Zero COVID” policies on his people.
The oppressive lockdowns severely disrupted the manufacturing of popular Apple products at Chinese factories, leading into the critical holiday shopping season.
A director of equity research at a reputable securities firm estimated that Mr. Cook’s negligence cost Apple roughly one-billion-dollars per week in lost iPhone Sales.
The research analyst also said approximately five percent of iPhone 14 sales were off the table due to the brutal shutdowns.
It left Mr. Cook scrambling to move production to other countries like India and Vietnam – but alas, it did not alleviate the losses to the Company and its shareholders.
Since 2020, lost production in other Chinese factories due to “zero COVID” policies cost Apple between 4 billion and 8 billion dollars.
A wise CEO – one who is not obsessed with climate change, ESG distractions, diversity quotas, and capitulating to the Communist government’s censorship demands – might have foreseen such problems in advance.
But past comments from Mr. Cook indicate his irresponsible decisions regarding China have been willful.
In the past he praised China’s workers as skillful craftsmen, who are innovative and entrepreneurial.
Sure, there is a lot to like about the people of China.
Unfortunately Mr. Cook has disregarded the real threat posed by the detestable government he has partnered Apple with, which is quickly turning from a U.S. adversary into an enemy; a government that is credibly accused of genocide, threatening its neighbors, cracking down on political dissidents, and unleashing a deadly virus on the world then covering up its origins.
Please vote “Yes” on Proposal number six for greater transparency about the risks of doing so much business in China.
Read NLPC’s shareholder proposal for the Apple Inc. annual meeting here.
Read NLPC’s response, filed with the SEC, to Apple Inc.’s opposition to our shareholder proposal here.
Read NLPC’s reports to the SEC about our opposition to the re-elections of Tim Cook and Al Gore to the company board of directors here (Cook) and here (Gore).