Apple curbs AirDrop file sharing on units in China

CNN Enterprise

Apple has restricted using the AirDrop wi-fi file sharing perform on units in China, simply weeks after stories that some protesters had used the favored function to unfold messages important of the Chinese language authorities.

Customers of iPhones in mainland China who up to date their iOS software program this week can ship or obtain recordsdata from non-contacts for less than as much as 10 minutes after manually choosing a brand new “Everyone for 10 minutes” choice, in response to assessments carried out by CNN’s Beijing bureau.

Customers not in China face no such restriction and are capable of obtain recordsdata wirelessly from anybody, together with people who find themselves not contacts.

The change doesn’t seem to have an effect on iPhones in use in China that had been bought exterior the nation, in response to the CNN staff. Apple

(AAPL) informed CNN Enterprise the brand new function will probably be expanded globally within the coming yr.

The replace comes simply weeks after stories in worldwide media, together with The New York Occasions and Vice World Information, that some residents in China had been utilizing AirDrop, which can be utilized solely between Apple units, to unfold leaflets and pictures echoing slogans utilized in a uncommon protest in opposition to Chinese language chief Xi Jinping on October 13.

On that day, shortly earlier than Xi secured a precedent-breaking third time period, two banners had been held on an overpass of a significant thoroughfare within the northwest of Beijing, protesting in opposition to Xi’s zero-Covid coverage and authoritarian rule.

And in 2019, AirDrop, which is efficient solely over brief distances, was significantly fashionable amongst anti-government demonstrators in Hong Kong who often used the function to drop colourful posters and paintings to subway passengers urging them to participate in protests.

Response in Chinese language media to the software program replace was combined. Information web site wrote that the function was designed to deal with the particular drawback of passengers on subways and buses receiving nuisance messages.

However others criticized Apple on Chinese language social media. The US tech big has been accused of appeasing the Chinese language authorities earlier than, together with pulling enterprise web site Quartz’s app from its retailer in China over “content concerns” through the 2019 demonstrations in Hong Kong.