Inside China’s iPhone jailbreaking industrial complex

“In late March a handful of the western world’s best-known iPhone hackers were flown business class to Beijing. They were put up in the five-star Park Hyatt and given a tour of the sites; the Great Wall, the Forbidden City.,” Thomas Fox-Brewster reports for Forbes. “‘They kept referring to us as ‘great gods.’ I’m guessing it just translates to ‘famous person,’ but we couldn’t contain our giggles every time the translators said it,’ says Joshua Hill, a 30-year-old from Atlanta who was one of the chosen few.”

“It was a bizarre trip hosted by an equally bizarre and secretive entity called TaiG (pronounced ‘tie-gee’), which flew the hackers to China to share techniques and tricks to slice through the defences of Apple’s mobile operating system in front of an eager conference-hall crowd,” Fox-Brewster reports. “Why such interest and why such aggrandisement of iOS researchers? In the last two years, jailbreaking an iPhone – the act of removing iOS’ restrictions against installing unauthorized apps, app stores and other features by exploiting Apple security – has become serious business in China. From Alibaba to Baidu, China’s biggest companies are supporting and even funding the practice, unfazed at the prospect of peeving Apple, which has sought to stamp out jailbreaking ever since it became a craze in the late 2000s.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Pretty shady.


    1. Only if the jailbreaking is detected or admitted to by the end user. iOS/OSX is the most resilient in thwarting viruses and botnets, and would make a wonderful trophy for China if they can crack that platform.

  1. Apple’s decision to take sides in the Confederate Flag censorship political hoopla is only going to add more fuel to the jailbreaking fire.

    While I had no plans to buy a Civil War game or sport the Confederate Battle Flag on my phone, the fact that Apple decided to unilaterally make that decision for me troubles me greatly.

    1. This article clearly indicates that our threats reside outside the U.S., not within. If we want this nation to survive, we need to eliminate petty squabbles that the media hype to sell news! Confederate flags, gay marriages, health insurance: none of these are worth posturing over. While we bicker amidst ourselves over minutiae, those who will conquer us continue their progress.

  2. This seems to be the Chinese Government’s approach to creating a backdoor into all OS’es starting with iOS. I can imagine the Chinese Government requiring all iPhones and iPads to be ‘inspected’ for malicious software and install their own at the same time.

  3. Not shady. Simple. China government and business wants two things, 1) t know how the iPhone works (security, etc), 2) to be able to install Apps without paying Apple 30%. Which they rightly see as money flowing outside the country.

    Any country (USA included) should be very very concerned about imports. Money leaving.

    Why would any country establish a trillion dollar economic sector only to have 300 billion dollars exit the country? Doesn’t make sense.

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