Macs sold in China no longer able to display Taiwanese flag

Posted:
in macOS
Following Monday's release of macOS 10.14.4, Macs sold in China are reportedly no longer displaying the Taiwanese flag emoji -- though it's apparently easy to rectify the issue.

Taiwanese flag


Without intervention, the icon is unavailable regardless of which region a Mac is set to in System Preferences, according to TechCrunch's Wang Boyuan and Emojipedia's Jeremy Burge. Previously changing region settings was a way of getting around the censorship.

It's believed however that the new situation is a result of region choice during a Mac's initial setup, possibly even an unintended bug. Choosing a region other than China may leave the flag intact, and the censorship can be undone by editing a PLIST file and rebooting.

China's government is notoriously intrusive with references to Taiwan, insisting that airlines, websites, and other entities treat it as just another province rather than an independent nation.

iPhones and iPads sold in China have been prevented from showing the Taiwanese flag since 2017, Burge noted. It was speculated that Apple might be carrying the same policy over to macOS -- and that could still be true, simply undermined by the flexibility of an open filesystem. The iOS filesystem can't be accessed without so-called "jaibreaking."

Apple has sometimes faced criticism for being too willing to bend to China's authoritarian regime rather than risk sales. In 2018 for instance complied with new data rules by transferring iCloud data to a state-owned company, and it has willingly removed news and VPN apps that might expose Chinese citizens to unflattering facts, such as the existence of the 1989 Tianamen Square massacre.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    Well wonder if China is about to invade Taiwan?  There’s been a lot of anti-Taiwan propaganda throw at the region lately from mainland China.  
    gutengeltmay
  • Reply 2 of 22
    What a disappointing if totally pragmatic decision. Taiwan is such a courageous nation of the last real Chinese and China is a nation of the repressed Chinese under a co-opted western political structure suffocating their own culture .

    Typical in this upside down world. It should be Taiwan invading and rebuilding  China .

    oh well Apple, it is better to be accepted than not. You cannot change the flags of the house from outside the walls.
    viclauyycelijahg
  • Reply 3 of 22
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,160member
    Well wonder if China is about to invade Taiwan?  There’s been a lot of anti-Taiwan propaganda throw at the region lately from mainland China.  
    China really doesn't have the capacity to invade Taiwan. They would need a ton of amphibious ships to hold troops. Taiwan is 4 hours from China by boat. The amphibious ships would be sitting ducks for the small and fast ships Taiwan has. There is also the threat of U.S. involvement. Beijing can talk tough all they want but I guarantee you the leaders in the PLA realize it would be no easy task to invade Taiwan. 
    ronn
  • Reply 4 of 22
    DuhSesameDuhSesame Posts: 478member
    I thought we just talked about the “iPhone XI” thing... oh no.
    cornchip
  • Reply 5 of 22
    So weird that they can consider it a province when no PRC government officials have stepped foot there or had any role in governing it in generations.  I wonder how long they will keep up this pointless fiction.
    ronn
  • Reply 6 of 22
    DuhSesameDuhSesame Posts: 478member
    I think that tells me two important things:

    1. Corporates are not freedom fighters.  The reason for them to oppose against FBI is because they’re playing under a democratic society.

    2. China is more autocratic than ever under daddy XI.
    elijahgrandominternetperson
  • Reply 7 of 22
    KuyangkohKuyangkoh Posts: 317member
    So weird that they can consider it a province when no PRC government officials have stepped foot there or had any role in governing it in generations.  I wonder how long they will keep up this pointless fiction.
    They have more troops disguise as civilians inside EEZ in the Philippines than Taiwan. They go for easy pickings and corrupt governments
    ronn
  • Reply 8 of 22
    rcfarcfa Posts: 762member
    Oh, these days there’s all the outrage about companies that supplied and collaborated with Nazi Germany, but we have tech companies collaborating and supplying dictatorships all over the world.
    As long as the almighty buck flows, who needs morals?
    cornchip
  • Reply 9 of 22
    viclauyycviclauyyc Posts: 347member
    Kuyangkoh said:
    So weird that they can consider it a province when no PRC government officials have stepped foot there or had any role in governing it in generations.  I wonder how long they will keep up this pointless fiction.
    They have more troops disguise as civilians inside EEZ in the Philippines than Taiwan. They go for easy pickings and corrupt governments
    As a Chinese, I can tell you we can easily distinguish people from Philippine or China. Also, there is not that much filipino in Taiwan compare to Hong Kong. 
    And talk about corrupt government, China wins Taiwan by miles.  
  • Reply 10 of 22
    Well wonder if China is about to invade Taiwan?  There’s been a lot of anti-Taiwan propaganda throw at the region lately from mainland China.  
    China really doesn't have the capacity to invade Taiwan. They would need a ton of amphibious ships to hold troops. Taiwan is 4 hours from China by boat. The amphibious ships would be sitting ducks for the small and fast ships Taiwan has. There is also the threat of U.S. involvement. Beijing can talk tough all they want but I guarantee you the leaders in the PLA realize it would be no easy task to invade Taiwan. 
    Maybe China will end up building another man-made islands with war ships near Taiwan.
  • Reply 11 of 22
    How pathetic is this. For China, I mean.
    ronnchemengin
  • Reply 12 of 22
    It is very ODD and STRANGE that Apple and Tim Cook keep banging on the point that Apple stands for the good and would act in accordance with what is best for humanity and the people of the world, etc. as a marketing ploy. But when it comes to walking the talk -- Apple and Tim Cook takes a deep bow and kowtow to the dictators in China, who have no qualms about spying on, imprisoning, and rolling tanks over their own citizens; while Taiwan -- as a COUNTRY -- is one of the few nations in Asia that staunchly defends human rights, democracy and freedom, but gets shoved aside by Apple and Cook over such a small thing even. Shame on Apple really. The hypocrisy.
    cornchipchemengin
  • Reply 13 of 22
    ivanhivanh Posts: 320member
    Is it macOS variation or hardware variation?
  • Reply 14 of 22
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,548member
    Well wonder if China is about to invade Taiwan?  There’s been a lot of anti-Taiwan propaganda throw at the region lately from mainland China.  
    That’s all China can do.  They can’t level the island with missles, they can’t invade with troops as Taiwan will blow their ships up if they tried.

    China is all bark, but by all means... I’d love for them to try.  I doubt all the neighboring nations, and the U.S. will make China think twice if it shows real aggression.
    edited March 29
  • Reply 15 of 22
    That is not the Taiwanese flag, but the flag of the Republic of China, which relocated to Taiwan after losing mainland China to the Communists in 1949. For a discussion, see the West Wing episode "A Change is Gonna Come" (first shown 12/01/2004).
  • Reply 16 of 22
    vin238vin238 Posts: 1member
    Taiwan is a country . we are feel sorry about this unbelievable action of Apple.  :(
    s.metcalf
  • Reply 17 of 22
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,066member
    So weird that they can consider it a province when no PRC government officials have stepped foot there or had any role in governing it in generations.  I wonder how long they will keep up this pointless fiction.
    How long will the USA continue to rule over Puerto Rico but not make it a state with voting rights? How long did it take for the UK to let go of Hong Kong? Or India?

    This kind of stuff takes centuries because leadership is almost always doing its best effort at not admitting to mistakes of their nation and maintaining the status quo... and then there’s nationalism. When a nation is currently busy strengthening its control and promoting its arrogance, it’s unlikely to soon move toward any kind of positive social good.
  • Reply 18 of 22
    s.metcalfs.metcalf Posts: 875member
    It’s shameful that the West doesn’t support Taiwan’s admission to the UN.  They’re a country in every way except UN member status.  PRC has no authority or power in Taiwan.
    chemengin
  • Reply 19 of 22
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,442administrator
    ivanh said:
    Is it macOS variation or hardware variation?
    FTA: "Choosing a region other than China may leave the flag intact, and the censorship can be undone by editing a PLIST file and rebooting."

    Software.
  • Reply 20 of 22
    sirozhasirozha Posts: 532member
    Shame on you, Tim Cook. I’m saying it as a shareholder. 

    Next, remove Israeli flag to appease the Arabs. 
    edited March 30 cornchip
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