Apple recently implemented a change that put a time limit on AirDrop sharing in mainland China. Users in the area can no longer indefinitely leave the AirDrop feature enabled for everyone, including unidentified contacts. The new restriction limits wireless file transfers to a 10-minute window. There was no time limit in the past.
The modification occurs simultaneously with the public release of iOS 16.1.1 and the developer beta release of iOS 16.2 (beta 2). Some iPhone users claim that the decision to limit AirDrop’s wireless sharing capabilities in China has something to do with the country’s ongoing protests. Many users in the nation were using this feature to disseminate posters that were critical of Xi Jinping’s administration.
It’s not the first time Apple has imposed such limitations based on geographic location. Similar iOS limitations based on the hardware model had already been implemented by the Cupertino giant in Taiwan. The Taiwanese flag emoji was later taken out of iPhones offered for sale in China.
For those who are unaware, Apple devices have a wireless instant file-sharing feature called AirDrop. Both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth must be enabled, and the user must be logged in with their Apple ID for it to function. For security, transfers are encrypted.