The charity donates money to the Global Fund for HIV/Aids

Apple has removed its charity appeal from its new Product RED iPhones in China.

Today, Apple released a new colour for its flagship smartphones, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Prior to today, you could choose between Jet Black, Matte Black, Silver, Gold and Rose Gold. Now, the computer giants have added a Product RED colour, which supports the Red charity which aims to combat Aids. The charity, founded by U2’s bono and activist Bobby Shriver, donates money to the Global Fund for HIV/Aids.

Apple is the largest corporate donor to the Global Fund in the world and a portion of the sales of its Product Red sales will go towards relief operations in Africa.

The special-edition version of the phone was released in 40 countries around the world. However, Apple have chosen to not include the charity appeal of its new red phones in China.

Apple US Website

Whilst Apple’s US website states that “every purchase brings us a step closer to an AIDS-free generation”, the translation of Apple’s China site simply reads “now in red”.

Although Apple haven’t commented on the decision to remove the charity appeal in China, the BBC suggests that the computer company maybe treading carefully as HIV/Aids and homosexuality are taboo topics in China.

In December 2016, Resonate reported that the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention presented figures of 96,000 new HIV cases in China over the first nine months of the year. 115,000 new cases were reported over the entirety of 2015, which suggests 2016 figures will most likely supersede last year.

China accounts for 3% of new HIV cases worldwide and 2% of the total HIV-positive global population.

Quartz suggests that the decision could be down to a law introduced in China in January that requires all foreign NGOs operating in the country to find “government sponsors, register with the police, and submit yearly reports on their financing, plus jump through other hurdles”.

Article 9 of the law states: “Where an overseas NGO has not registered an established representative office, nor submitted documents for the record stating that it intends to carry out temporary activities, it shall not carry out or covertly engage in any activities, nor shall it entrust or finance, or covertly entrust or finance, any organization or individuals to carry out activities in the mainland of China on its behalf.”

It is suggested that because Apple is a for-profit company that is helping an overseas nonprofit with fund-raising through sales, it could potentially be breaking this section of the law.

However, Quartz reports that proceeds from red iPhone sales in China will be donated according to an Apple spokesperson. The spokesperson did not explain why any reference to the charity was omitted from the Chinese site.