Apple products subject of secretive Chinese cybersecurity audits, report says

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2016
A Chinese government committee is closely examining encryption and data storage technology products imported by foreign corporations, including Apple, in a bid to protect against national security threats, according to a report on Monday.




Citing people familiar with the matter, The New York Times said the shadowy task force is tied to the Cyberspace Administration of China, a group assigned to police internet content within the country. When asked about the operation, the administration said past inspections did not target specific countries or products, suggesting the initiative casts a wide net.

According to sources, Apple is one of multiple major technology importers that has been reviewed in the past few months, most of whom deal in encryption tech and data storage products. The audits reportedly require company employees, or even executives, to answer a series of questions in person, though it is not clear if Apple has been subjected to such scrutiny.

The report suggests U.S. government officials and consumer tech companies are concerned that the Chinese reviews might be more than a claimed national security measure. Specifically, there are worries that the country, notorious for stealing industrial secrets, is using the program to facilitate what amounts to state-sanctioned corporate espionage. There is no evidence pointing to such activities, but a lack of transparency on the part of the Cyberspace Administration is not helping matters.

China is a key market for Apple, which is looking to spur iPhone sales growth beyond established smartphone markets. While China has never been the most easily navigable of international markets, Apple recently hit a bit of a rough patch with the country's regulators. In April, for example, forced Apple to shutter its iTunes Movies and iBooks Stores. Apple also revealed Chinese agencies made two separate requests for source code access in as many years, both of which were denied.

Despite setbacks, Apple is aggressively developing its assets in the country. CEO Tim Cook is currently in Beijing on the heels of announcing a massive $1 billion investment in Chinese Uber competitor Didi Chuxing. Whether or not Cook plans to meet with government officials on his trip, as per a rumor floated last week, is unknown.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Considering how much of a full court press the FBI has been doing on creating security holes, they're right to be weary of any US products sold in China.
    calianantksundaramlondormonstrosityireland
  • Reply 2 of 16
    eideardeideard Posts: 391member
    "There is no evidence pointing to such activities" but, China-bashing doesn't require any.
    londor
  • Reply 3 of 16
    joshajosha Posts: 901member

    Apple products subject of secretive Chinese cybersecurity audits, report says

    No news here, just what most of us expected.  From not just China, but by most modern countries !




    londorireland
  • Reply 4 of 16
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,185member
    I've said it before and I'll say it again, Apple needs to be prepared to grow with less exposure to China, especially if China starts to aggressively oppose foreign imports or demand access to Apple's security features. Also, assuming Trump is elected there may be a trade war with China or massive import taxes applied under the new administration.
    cnocbui
  • Reply 5 of 16
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,185member
    eideard said:
    "There is no evidence pointing to such activities" but, China-bashing doesn't require any.
    There's ample out-in-the-open evidence of China'a IP theft, product dumping and widespread hacking, for starters.
    anton zuykovmonstrositycnocbuianantksundaramjony0
  • Reply 6 of 16
    anton zuykovanton zuykov Posts: 1,039member
    eideard said:
    "There is no evidence pointing to such activities" but, China-bashing doesn't require any.
    There are multiple examples of those activities. 
    Touch sensitive display on huawei (= Chinese military backed enterprise) right after Apple started manufacturing watches and iPhones with said tech in the country. 
    And that happened multiple times in the past (not so distant). Routers, smartphones....you name it. 

    Source code would be a valuable thing, both for Chinese gov-t in term of knowing weaknesses of the iOS, and for copiers, like huawei, that could use it in creating their very own walled garden OS...

    edited May 2016
  • Reply 7 of 16
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,789member
    I've said it before and I'll say it again, Apple needs to be prepared to grow with less exposure to China, especially if China starts to aggressively oppose foreign imports or demand access to Apple's security features. Also, assuming Trump is elected there may be a trade war with China or massive import taxes applied under the new administration.
    It is difficult to see a good outcome to relationships with China, The US basically sold the farm.
  • Reply 8 of 16
    radster360radster360 Posts: 540member
    Why does it seem like AI is joining the likes of CNBC, MarketWatch, NYTimes and other such media and getting into bashing Apple and creating stories to get more clicks like all those other media sites?
  • Reply 9 of 16
    levilevi Posts: 344member
    I've said it before and I'll say it again, Apple needs to be prepared to grow with less exposure to China, especially if China starts to aggressively oppose foreign imports or demand access to Apple's security features. Also, assuming Trump is elected there may be a trade war with China or massive import taxes applied under the new administration.
    Regarding the Trump comment: get real. Trump is a populist through and through. He said what he needed to to get through the primary, and now he's moving to more moderate positions for the election. A trade war with our most important economic partner is destructive to all involved. Barring a major economic collapse - we're  too dependent on each other for that. 
    londormonstrosityirelandjony0
  • Reply 10 of 16
    levilevi Posts: 344member
    Why does it seem like AI is joining the likes of CNBC, MarketWatch, NYTimes and other such media and getting into bashing Apple and creating stories to get more clicks like all those other media sites?
    They're reporting on a another media positing. That's not bashing, it's reporting... Information is a good thing, regardless of whether or not you like subject or outcome. Would you prefer propaganda?
    latifbpgatorguyjony0
  • Reply 11 of 16
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    levi said:
    I've said it before and I'll say it again, Apple needs to be prepared to grow with less exposure to China, especially if China starts to aggressively oppose foreign imports or demand access to Apple's security features. Also, assuming Trump is elected there may be a trade war with China or massive import taxes applied under the new administration.
    Regarding the Trump comment: get real. Trump is a populist through and through. He said what he needed to to get through the primary, and now he's moving to more moderate positions for the election. A trade war with our most important economic partner is destructive to all involved. Barring a major economic collapse - we're  too dependent on each other for that. 


    Right... You do you know the fucking shit he's said for 30 years, including hundreds of interviews and appearances on camera, follows him hmmm....
    He's got 30 years of incompetence (putting his father's money into bonds would have been a better investment), misogyny, racism and lies behind him
    According to politifact (Pulitzer winning)  95% of what he says are mostly lies or outright lies, compared to 3% for Clinton!! That guy lies like he breathes.
    He's changed position on the same subject many dozens of times... Within days. So, which one of those X positions should people trust?

    So, how the frack would anyone really know his turd positions; since it's either lies or walkbacks?
    How do you even walkback not knowing a white supremacist when you've discussed him on record a few years back!

    When he does "explain" things like his, default on US debt to negotiate with creditor, idiocy, it demonstrates his total ignorance of the basics of economy.

    Oh, and were are those OBAMA birther docs this POS talked about for 3 months a few years back?

    That guy is textbook case of a narcissist who can be baited by the crowd into any fracking position on earth.
    He barely can put 5 words in a row with talking about himself in the third person as "great".

    PS: Populist don't walk back their positions and lie that much; they get elected because they said those populist things. The result is nearly 100% eventual disaster.


    edited May 2016 singularitylostkiwijony0jax44
  • Reply 12 of 16
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    levi said:
    Why does it seem like AI is joining the likes of CNBC, MarketWatch, NYTimes and other such media and getting into bashing Apple and creating stories to get more clicks like all those other media sites?
    They're reporting on a another media positing. That's not bashing, it's reporting... Information is a good thing, regardless of whether or not you like subject or outcome. Would you prefer propaganda?
    If you think news has no slant, especially a clickbait one; you're deluded and haven''t been following the media lately.

    Most "news" in this massively competitive zero attention span world are there more to get your attention
    and cater to your bias than to inform you. (Fox News being a good representative of this trend in the TV word)

    Why? Because the person who gets attention survives while the other sources die off.
    This kind of evolutionary pressure has almost completely destroyed the "source of record" of old days.

    Routinely creating an inflammatory title is part of modern journalism that marks
    a comeback of the yellow journalism of the late 19th century and 20th century.

    It's not propaganda (because it's not centralized), but it is probably not truth either.
    Finding what's true or not has never been harder for the average uncritical news reader.

    PS : Even mostly reliable sources like New York Times sometimes engage in this kind of things these days (though a lot less often than other sources)






    edited May 2016
  • Reply 13 of 16
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,185member
    levi said:
    I've said it before and I'll say it again, Apple needs to be prepared to grow with less exposure to China, especially if China starts to aggressively oppose foreign imports or demand access to Apple's security features. Also, assuming Trump is elected there may be a trade war with China or massive import taxes applied under the new administration.
    Regarding the Trump comment: get real. Trump is a populist through and through. He said what he needed to to get through the primary, and now he's moving to more moderate positions for the election. A trade war with our most important economic partner is destructive to all involved. Barring a major economic collapse - we're  too dependent on each other for that. 
    Do you really think such a thing could never happen? I've lived long enough to know it is not impossible, especially as people will become more desperate to maintain their quality of life in an era of decline.
  • Reply 14 of 16
    leavingthebiggleavingthebigg Posts: 1,151member
    The @nytimes suggests the US government is concerned about China setting a precedent. Really? There sure as hell was no concern about the FBI and DOJ setting a precedent when the agencies tried to have a court force Apple to create a back doors into iOS one time only. 
    lostkiwi
  • Reply 15 of 16
    singularitysingularity Posts: 1,329member
    The @nytimes suggests the US government is concerned about China setting a precedent. Really? There sure as hell was no concern about the FBI and DOJ setting a precedent when the agencies tried to have a court force Apple to create a back doors into iOS one time only. 
    That's simple double standards.
    We can have the back door, you can trust us but not those nasty foreigners!!!!
  • Reply 16 of 16
    when can the sinophobia be stopped. Yes China has its issues. but as a news report site, you simply accused China something that has no evidence. It's not fair. when the world can view each other equally and cooperate well, that's when everyone can truly benefit from the globalisation.
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