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Patrick Wardle, a former hacker for the NSA, found an unusual bug in iOS. Found in v11.3 it has since been fixed in v11.4.1, but what makes the bug so interesting is that it seems to originate from code written specifically to appease the Chinese government.

A Taiwanese friend complained to Wardle that her iPhone crashed every time she typed the word "Taiwan" or received a message with the Taiwanese flag emoji. Wardle was easily able to reproduce the bug using iMessage, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. The device in question was not jailbroken and fully-patched, and its region was set to the USA. What ended up triggering the bug was the additional option of a Chinese-language keyboard.

What's supposed to happen—and only when the phone's region is set to China (as in "People's Republic of...")—is that any input of "Taiwan" returns a null value—that is, a blank emoji or "word not found". This is because the PRC does not recognize Taiwan ROC ("Republic of China") as a sovereign nation.

While Apple can be criticized for kowtowing to the PRC, at least they limit the censorship to within China itself. Other businesses, like Air Canada, display Taiwan as a province of China in their destination listings for all markets worldwide.

Source: Objective-See via Ars Technica