Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been gaining popularity in mainland China over the last couple of years, especially as China has allowed limited capitalism in its communist economy. But while China has put morality into law in the country, there have been reports or claims that the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) voice assistant, Siri, may be violating "family-friendly" laws and breaking assurances by the tech giant that it really is sensitive to the social norms of the country.
By some reports, though, it seems that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Siri might be a law-breaker.
It seems that Siri gives users in China access to prostitutes, escort services and even pornographic materials, which once again has Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the crosshairs of China regulatory authorities. Reports say that when a user says to Siri, "I want to visit prostitutes," the service will provide information about escort services, nightclubs and other similar venues. And although pornographic Web sites are prohibited in China, Siri apparently does call yup such Web sites when pornography is requested. Chinese regulators have a reputation of coming down hard on those who commit pornography violations, though so far there is no indication that Chinese regulators have launched any investigation into the current reports.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is denying all of these current claims, insisting that its Siri service is "family-friendly." However, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) did get some attention previously with claims that Siri was programmed to be anti-abortion, in hat the Siri service would not provide information about abortion clinics but instead would give data about pregnancy centers. While regulators had not officially inquired into that issue - the claims were made by bloggers and human-rights groups - China is a country that imposes a one-child-per-family rule, which essentially allows for forced abortions.
Is Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) flaunting its influence in Chinese culture, or is the company making a simple mistake with its Siri service and wants to be compliant with China standards? Could this be a way to American-ize the culture? If these claims are true, does this make Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) more or less attractive to the China market? Investors like billionaire fund manager David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital may certainly be watching this.