Asked about the recent removal of VPN apps from the Chinese App Store, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company had no choice under local laws, but expressed hope the crackdown won't be permanent.

"We're hopeful that over time the restrictions we are seeing (will be) loosened," Cook said on a conference call with analysts. "Innovation really requires freedom to communicate and collaborate."

Cook rebuffed the parallel that some have drawn to last year, when Apple refused an FBI request to turn over customer information. Cook said in that case US law was on Apple's side, whereas in the recent VPN case China's laws require companies that want to offer VPN apps to get a license from the government.

"Like we do in other countries we follow the law wherever we do business," Cook said, adding that the company still voices its opinions in the appropriate way.

The rub: This is a case where Apple's tight grasp on the App Store puts it in a position to be able to remove any app it is ordered to, unlike Android, where apps can be downloaded from third-party app stores or directly "sideloaded" onto the device.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
58 mins ago - Health

Rockefeller Foundation commits $1 billion for COVID-19 recovery

A health worker performs a COVID-19 test in New Delhi. Photo: Raj K Raj/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

The Rockefeller Foundation announced on Monday that it will allocate $1 billion over the next three years to address the pandemic and its aftermath.

Why it matters: The mishandled pandemic and the effects of climate change threaten to reverse global progress and push more than 100 million people into poverty around the world. Governments and big NGOs need to ensure that the COVID-19 recovery reaches everyone who needs it.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk — Mark Meadows: "We are not going to control the pandemic"
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — U.S. reports over 80,000 new cases for second consecutive day.
  3. World: Italy tightens restrictions Spain declares new state of emergency.
  4. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine after possible COVID-19 exposure

Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine in COVID-19 precaution

A political display is posted on the outside of the Fox News headquarters on 6th Avenue in New York City in July. Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

Fox News President Jay Wallace and anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum are among those recommended to get tested and quarantine after possible exposure to COVID-19, the New York Times first reported Sunday night.

The big picture: The Fox News contingent, which also included "The Five" show hosts Juan Williams and Dana Perino, were on a charter flight from Nashville to New York following Thursday's presidential debate with a person who later tested positive for the coronavirus.

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