Apple has imposed time restrictions on wirelessly sharing AirDrop files between iPhones in China after the feature was used by protesters to share images against the Chinese government, Bloomberg reports.
The “Everyone” option in Airdrop is now limited to a ten-minute window for users in China. After the ten minutes have passed, AirDrop’s device-to-device sharing switches back to “Contacts Only”, making it more difficult to mass-distribute content to strangers. These new time restrictions were introduced by Apple just weeks after the service was used to proliferate posters against President Xi Jinping.
iOS 16.1.1 release notes don’t mention the new restrictions
The AirDrop restriction was included in the public release of iOS 16.1.1 on Wednesday, despite nothing being mentioned about it in the release notes. 9to5Mac readers soon found that the restrictions appear to be limited to iPhones purchased in China.
Apple has not yet discussed why the AirDrop restrictions have only been introduced in China, but has confirmed that: Bloomberg that the new setting will be made available to global users “in the coming year” as a way to reduce the receipt of junk files.