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Chinese company breaks Apple AirDrop to help police

Chinese company breaks Apple AirDrop to help police Chinese company breaks Apple AirDrop to help police (Getty Images)

A Chinese tech company named Wangshendongjian Technology has managed to break the security of Apple's AirDrop, a wireless file-sharing feature to help police, according to CNN.

The company aided the police in tracking down people who used AirDrop to send "inappropriate content" in the Beijing subway. The technology company identified the senders' phone numbers and email addresses during an investigation initiated by a complaint.

Wangshendongjian Technology “broke through the technical difficulties of anonymous traceability through AirDrop,” which “prevented the further spread of inappropriate remarks and potential bad influence,” the police say.

AirDrop in China

AirDrop has been criticized for causing disturbances to commuters in Chinese cities who received unwanted messages.

Additionally, it was reportedly used by protesters to spread anonymous messages critical of the Chinese government in late 2022. Residents in China utilized AirDrop to distribute leaflets and images supporting protests against Chinese leader Xi Jinping. In response to such incidents, Apple limited AirDrop sharing with non-contacts for devices in China in November 2022, making it more challenging for users to share files with unknown people. This limitation was later extended globally.

We also recently reported that Apple's iPhone sales in China went down by 30% in the first week of 2024, showing that Apple was facing more competition from Chinese companies like Huawei. The overall number of smartphones shipped in China double-dropped, mainly because of Apple's lower sales.