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Apple restricted AirDrop capabilities in China ahead of anti-government protests

by /u/w_w_w · 1 votes · 2 months ago

As anti-government protests continue to swell across China, a key communication tool used by dissenters for organizing and sharing information has now been curbed β€” Apple's AirDrop feature.

Restrictions to AirDrop were enacted exclusively in China earlier this monthafter it was used to share posters opposing President Xi Jinping and the Chinese government, and just weeks before widescale protests against the state's strict zero-COVID policies began this weekend.

The changes, which were first reported by 9to5Mac on November 7, include limiting the amount of time an iPhone user can use the "Everyone" setting to receive content from anyone β€” both contacts and non-contacts β€” to just 10 minutes.

Typically, users can opt to receive AirDrop content from everyone for an unlimited period of time. The tool has been used among protesters to disseminate information about demonstrations, and was pivotal to organizing protests in Hong Kong and bypassing China's "Great Firewall" in 2019, Quartz reported.