Taiwan Flag Emoji Crash Bug fixed On China Region iPhones

Apple have fixed a bug that crashed iPhones set to the China region if they received the Taiwan flag emoji within an app.
Apple have fixed a crash bug involving Chinese region iPhones and the Taiwan flag emoji.

The crash issue, which has been patched as of iOS 11.4.1, was due to an in built censorship feature requested by the Chinese government that Apple implemented in their iOS operating system.

If a user received a message with the Taiwan Flag emoji attached, then the app in question would instantly crash. 

The Taiwan flag emoji is not visible on iPhones set to the Chinese region, due to China not acknowledging the countries independence and having strained relations. If a user receives a message containing the countries flag, then iOS detects this and strips the emoji out.

Speaking to Wired, security researcher Patrick Wardle, who was instrumental in identifying the bug, said: "If Apple had never tried to appease the Chinese government, the bug would never have been introduced in the first place,"

Mr Wardle, discovered the bug after his friend experienced the crashing issue on their own China region iPhone.

China have widely been criticised for heavy handed and ongoing censorship tactics and have wide ranging surveillance technologies in place around the country, with more severe systems proposed for the future.

Symbols causing apps to crash is not an uncommon occurrence; earlier this year a bug with Android and Apple devices caused apps to crash thanks to a black dot emoji, which contained thousands of characters arranged in a certain way.

Earlier in February, a special character in the Telugu language would instantly freeze and crash apps on Apple devices, an issue that was resolved with the space of a month.
Beth Walker 17 September 2018

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