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Apple limits how long AirDrop transfers can be received in China

Something extra was included in Apple’s iOS 16.1.1 update for China that was not available in other regions. Bloomberg claims that a user can only receive files from non-contacts via AirDrop for a maximum of ten minutes. Prior to this change, individuals could choose to acquire AirDrops from anyone at any time.

AirDrop has been used by activists and protesters in China to circumvent the country’s online censorship measures, according to the news organization. During the pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong, it was widely used to share images of police brutality. It has recently been utilized by protesters to disseminate messages criticizing Xi Jinping’s rule and opposing the Chinese government. Users are less likely to receive messages from random protesters if the “everyone” option is limited. After all, they’ll have to turn the option back on every few minutes.

This isn’t the first time Apple has introduced a feature or restriction that is only available in a particular region. Having said that, the tech giant has been criticized in the past for following regulations designed to restrain dissent in China and implementing changes that would keep it in the good graces of the Chinese government. Apple was recently blamed for giving over a portion of its server farms in the country to Chinese specialists. Recently, it is said that the company instructed Taiwanese suppliers to ensure that mainland-bound parts did not bear “Made in Taiwan” labels. Instead, “Chinese Taipei” or “Taiwan, China” ought to be noted as their source.

Apple informed Bloomberg that it will not remain a Chinese exclusive, but it did not explain why the restriction was implemented in the country. It reportedly intends to “mitigate unwanted file sharing” by introducing the new setting to all users worldwide next year.

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