The 'everyone' setting for AirDrop in the nation has been restricted by the most recent iOS version.
Something extra that wasn't included in the release for other regions was added to the iOS 16.1.1 upgrade that Apple pushed out in China. According to Bloomberg, there is a 10-minute time limit on when a user can accept files via AirDrop from people who are not contacts. People used to have the option of continuously receiving AirDrops from everyone.
According to the news source, activists and demonstrators in China have been utilizing AirDrop to get over the nation's online censorship laws. It was frequently used to transmit pictures of police brutality during the pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong. More lately, protesters have started utilizing it to disseminate messages critical of Xi Jinping's leadership and the Chinese government. Users are less likely to get messages from random protesters by restricting the "everyone" option. They will need to reactivate the choice every few minutes, after all.
This is not the first time Apple has made a feature, or in this case, a restriction that is only available in a particular area. Nevertheless, the IT titan has faced criticism in the past for adhering to regulations intended to suppress dissent in China and for making reforms to guarantee its continued good standing with the Chinese government.
Apple has previously been charged with turning over some of its local data centres to Chinese authorities. More recently, it is said that the business instructed its Taiwanese suppliers to prevent items from being marked "Made in Taiwan" before they are shipped to the mainland. Instead, "Chinese Taipei" or "Taiwan, China" should be noted as their source.
Bloomberg was not given an explanation by Apple as to why the restriction was implemented in the nation, but the company did inform them that it would no longer be a Chinese exclusive. According to reports, it intends to make the new setting available to all users worldwide early next year in order to "mitigate inappropriate file sharing."
Apple has maintained its supremacy in China despite the growth of regional rivals like Huawei and Oppo, especially among more wealthy groups. According to Counterpoint's analysis, iPhones made up 13% of handset shipments in China in the second quarter, down from 18% and 22% in the first and fourth quarters, respectively.
It's common for Apple to implement regional limits in order to follow local laws. Due to requirements for hearing protection, users cannot exceed the EU Volume Level in EU countries, for instance. Apple has a history of enforcing stricter regulations in China for content-related services, like as games and podcasts, an area that is heavily regulated by the national government.