A BUG in iOS 11.3 saw iPhones in China go to Borksville everytime the word 'Taiwan' was written or the country's flag was used.
Patrick Wardle, a security researcher at Objective-See, discovered the bug, which appears to have arisen a result of the rules China attempts to apply to tech firms looking to get a foothold in the nation's massive mobile market.
Not known for its love of freedom of speech, China isn't too stoked about its citizens blabbering on about Taiwan, perhaps due to the country's rather oppressive view on the idea the island nation should be part of it, rather than a pseudo lone country.
As such, it would appear that Apple was forced to tweak its iOS 11 code to keep mentions of Taiwan out of its software and iPhone apps.
However, Tim Cook's coding crew must have been clocking off early for some avocado on sourdough, as they had left a bug lying in the tweaked mobile operating system. Said bug would crash iPhones any time Taiwan was mentioned or return a "null" code when searching for Taiwanese language in the iOS language and region settings.
Apple has since moved to squash the bug, and as a result, typing Taiwan into iMessage on an iPhone in China doesn't crash it.
But iPhone users still can't put Taiwanese flags into their texts, so it looks like Apple has bowed down to China and is adhering to the nation's censorship and seeming dislike of freedom of speech, which we reckon iPhone users wouldn't want having shelled out for a high-end smartphone.
"If Apple hadn't tried to appease the Chinese government in the first place, there would be no bug" Wardle pointed out, presumably casting a critical eye over Apple.
Given the fuss Apple kicked up around the FBI's demand for it to decrypt and iPhone used by a San Bernardino gunman, you'd be forgiven for thinking the firm wouldn't want to play by China's rules. But then there are some billion Chinese citizens to flog phones to, and if one thing is certain in the tech world, it's that Apple love filling its pockets with cash. µ
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