The House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party has sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, asking for an explanation as to why the company will no longer produce "The Problem With Jon Stewart" for its streaming service, AppleTV+. The bipartisan letter, signed by Chairman Rep. Mike Gallagher and Ranking Member Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, asks for a briefing by December 15, 2023, to better understand the reason for the show's cancellation. It also requests that Apple publicly commit to welcoming content that may be critical of the Chinese Communist Party. According to reports, Apple executives approached Jon Stewart and expressed concerns about the show's discussion of China and artificial intelligence. Stewart wanted full creative control over his show and Apple threatened to cancel it, leading to his departure. The committee states that if these reports are accurate, it raises concerns about Chinese influence over American artists and companies regarding CCP-related topics. The committee also highlights the need for Apple to reduce its dependence on China in its core business. The letter emphasizes that while companies have the right to determine appropriate content for their streaming service, they should not be influenced by coercive tactics from a foreign power. Apple and Jon Stewart have not yet responded to requests for comment. The letter also raises concerns about the difficulties lesser-known comedians may face in finding a platform to express their views on China-related matters. The committee encourages Apple to urgently diversify its supply chains and reduce technological dependencies on China to avoid coercion. China represents a significant portion of Apple's sales and is its fastest-growing region.
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