Just a few weeks later, Apple has restricted the use of AirDrop wireless file sharing on Chinese devices, reports say Some protesters have used the popular feature to spread messages critical of the Chinese government.
iPhone users in mainland China who updated their iOS software this week were only able to send or receive messages from non-contacts within a maximum of 10 minutes after manually selecting the new “10 minutes per person” option, according to tests conducted by CNN’s Beijing bureau. document.
Users outside of China have no such restrictions and can wirelessly receive files from anyone, including non-contacts.
According to the CNN team, the change does not appear to affect iPhones purchased abroad that are used in China. Apple told CNN Business that the new feature will expand globally over the next year.
In the weeks before, international media, including The New York Times and Vice World News, reported that some residents in China were using AirDrop, which can only be used between Apple devices, to distribute flyers and images Echoes a rare slogan. On October 13, a protest against Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
That day, shortly before Xi Jinping’s third-term precedent-breaking term, two banners were hung on an overpass on a major road in northwest Beijing protesting Xi’s zero-virus policy and dictatorship.
And in 2019, AirDrop, which only works over short distances, was particularly popular among anti-government demonstrators in Hong Kong, who routinely used the feature to throw colorful posters and artwork at subway passengers urging them to join protests.
Chinese media had mixed reactions to the software update. News site Sohu.com wrote that the feature was designed to address the specific problem of subway and bus passengers receiving nuisance messages.
But others criticized Apple on Chinese social media. The U.S. tech giant has previously been accused of appeasing Chinese authorities, including removing the app from business site Quartz from its Chinese store during the 2019 Hong Kong demonstrations over “content issues.”