IPhone crashing bug likely caused by code added to appease Chinese gov’t

Not exactly China's favorite flag

After two+ years of being unable to type "Taiwan" or being remotely DOS'd anytime her phone received a Taiwanese flag emoji, the fix (kudos to my friend Josh S. for the idea!), was simply to toggle the region from United States to China, then back to US.

Wardle notes that Apple probably created code in iOS to remove Taiwan's flag emoji at the behest of the Chinese government, and that code is the cause of the suspicious crashes.

When it came to iOS 11.3, security researcher Patrick Wardle noticed that this now led to an invalid input, as opposed to the previous missing input.

A recently discovered iOS bug caused iPhones to crash after the word "Taiwan" was typed in.

Even Apple, one of the most valuable companies in the world, has to play ball.

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Wardle, who is now a macOS and iOS security expert at Digital Security, said he was perplexed when a friend first reported her fully patched, non-jailbroken device crashed every time she typed Taiwan or received a message with a Taiwanese flag. In China, messaging apps didn't crash, but would not display the forbidden emoji.

The iOS update is around 200MB in size and comes with bug fixes and "improves the security of your iPhone or iPad". Messages which were sent featuring the emoji included only a blank space.

China considers Taiwan as a renegade provice, and does not recognise the sovereignty of the island nation. However, the Chinese government has long desired taking control over Taiwan. China was seen as a major way of keeping its cash cow still alive and Apple did not want to upset the Chinese government and earn itself a ban from the country. Apple didn't respond to an email seeking comment for this post. First, the latest iOS 11.4.1 update will fix an issue which prevented some users from viewing the last known location of their AirPods in the Find Phone app.

The most common errors made by Brits are spelling mistakes (21 per cent), followed closely by apostrophe placement (16 per cent) and the misuse of a comma (16 per cent).

The use of emojis has seeped into our culture to such an extent that the Oxford Dictionary's "Word of the Year" in 2015 wasn't actually a word at all - it was the Face With Tears emoji, which shows just how influential the little graphic images have become.

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