Newspaper article International New York Times

With a Barb, China Approves iPhone 6

Newspaper article International New York Times

With a Barb, China Approves iPhone 6

Article excerpt

However, the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued a detailed description of security concerns it had with Apple's operating system.

The Chinese government on Tuesday granted Apple the final license required to release the new iPhone 6 in mainland China, but the announcement came with a twist.

The approval was good news for China's legions of Apple fans, who will be able to begin preordering the phone on Oct. 10, Apple said Tuesday. The phone first went on sale on Sept. 19 in the United States and a few other major markets, including Hong Kong, which operates under laws separate from those of mainland China.

Less encouraging for Apple, the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced the approval on its website and, unusually, added a detailed description of security concerns that it had with Apple's iOS operating system.

The ministry said it was worried about diagnostic tools that run on the iPhone that could compromise users' private data when they connect their phones to computers or when they take the phones to repair shops to be fixed.

The statement did not mention new encryption functions on the iPhone 6 that are intended to make gaining access to data time- consuming and difficult without the consent of the user.

"What the ministry tests to give this license has nothing to do with the warnings they included about these holes in security," said Wang Yanhui, secretary of the China Mobile Alliance, a semiofficial organization that facilitates communication between the Chinese government and mobile phone companies in China.

The ministry said on its website that after it presented the concerns to Apple, the company provided it with "official materials" to address them. The ministry said Apple had shown that the company could not access customer data without approval from the customer, that the new iOS 8 operating system was more resistant to attempts to steal customer data using diagnostic tools and that Apple had never provided a backdoor to give data to any government agency. …

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