IOS 11.3 bug borked iPhones in China every time Taiwan was mentioned

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After two+ years of being unable to type "Taiwan" or being remotely DOS'd anytime her phone received an 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.

The glitch was discovered by security researcher Patrick Wardle, who founded South Florida cybersecurity firm Digital Security. 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.


Having just released iOS 11.4.1 to the masses, Apple's focus was very much focused on squashing bugs rather than rolling out new features.

He said that 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. Apple confirmed the fix in a security update Monday.

Switch your iPhone's location setting to China, and the Taiwanese flag emoji essentially disappears from your phone, evaporating from its library of emojis and appearing as a "missing" emoji in any text that appears on the screen.


After losing mainland China to communist forces in 1949, the Republic of China relocated to Taiwan. Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. However, the Chinese government has long desired taking control over Taiwan. In addition to agreeing to filter out Taiwan, Apple has had to take other measures, including purging VPN apps from the Chinese App Store, in order to fall in line with Beijing's censorship policies. Apple had already announced it would introducing such a feature, where it would cut-off access to the iPhone or iPad via the Lightning Port, if the device has not been unlocked for the last one hour.

More than half of British adults are not confident with their command of spelling and grammar, the study also found.

They were first used by Japanese mobile phone companies in the late 1990s to express an emotion, concept or message in a simple, graphic way.


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