At Apple’s annual shareholder meeting next year it faces criticism over its human rights policies, specifically when the company removed an app that protesters in Hong Kong used to keep track of police movement (via FT—hard paywall).
Shareholders want Apple to give a public commitment to respect freedom of expression, a resolution that the company failed to strike from its agenda. It will be a non-binding resolution for Apple to describe how it responds to demands that could limit freedom of expression or access to information.
“[Apple] has acquiesced to government demands that have limited individual freedom of expression,” said SumOfUs, a consumer advocacy group that submitted the proposal, which argued Apple’s actions had led to punishment for Hong Kongers, Tibetans and Uighur Muslims.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) denied Apple’s request to block the vote on SumOfUs’s resolution this month. Resolutions from what are called “activist shareholders” often don’t get a lot of support. In 2016 and 2018 Apple faced similar proposals and they received less than 10% approval.
These annual meetings are usually held in late February. The 2020 meeting has no official date yet.