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China Communications Government Network Privacy Security Apple Hardware Technology

Apple Watch's LTE Suspended In China Possibly Due To Government Security Concerns (appleinsider.com) 18

The Apple Watch Series 3's best new feature has been mysteriously blocked in China. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, China has cut off the Apple Watch's LTE connectivity on Sept. 28 after brief availability from China Unicom. Industry analysts claim that the suspension is probably from governmental concerns about not being able to track and confirm users of the device. AppleInsider reports: Apple issued a brief statement confirming the situation, and referring customers to China Unicom. Neither China Unicom, nor Chinese regulators have made any statement on the matter. The issue may stem from the eSIM in the Apple Watch. Devices like the iPhone have state-owned telecom company-issued SIM cards -- and the eSIM is embedded in the device by Apple. "The eSIM (system) isn't mature enough yet in China," one analyst said. "The government still needs to figure out how they can control the eSIM." The LTE version of the Apple Watch had only a trial certificate to operate on the Chinese LTE network. An analyst who asked not to be identified expects that Ministry of Industry and Information Technology may take months to figure out how the government will deal with the eSIM, and issue a formal certificate for operation.
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Apple Watch's LTE Suspended In China Possibly Due To Government Security Concerns

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  • You old farts needn't worry. Soon we'll have some new wars, and that will make older workers great again.

  • by p51d007 ( 656414 ) on Thursday October 19, 2017 @07:03PM (#55400525)
    I'm sure the U.S. government knows how to track via "smart" watches. Hell, people give up their rights to privacy all the time, since the advent of smartphones and beyond.
    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Communist nations would fear:
      The tracking of skilled staff into and out of sensitive mil/gov sites.
      The location of experts as they work with, have conversations near other interesting people.
      That lets the NSA/GCHQ build up a large database of investing staff, find new sensitive locations by tracking staff locations, durations of stay.
      CIA/MI6 then make their approach domestically, when staff go on holiday.
      Classic honey traps, casino debts. offer of a better life are then made by CIA/MI6.
      To hand over do
    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      It's not tracking that's the problem.

      It's that in China, SIM cards are highly controlled. The government basically wants a full blown profile on you from your name and date of birth, to your political leanings, whether you want beef or chicken in your sandwich and whether or not you know what the letters V, P and N could stand for.

      Pass that, you get your SIM card and have cellphone service.

      Problem is, it's a supply-managed system - the Chinese government controls cellphone access by controlling SIM card ava

    • The standard modus operandi for most 3G/4G.enabled devices is to use the baseband modem.

      With very few exceptions (OMAP-based devices used in things like the Pyra handheld, or the upcoming Librem 5 by Purism), the modem isn't a separate segregated chip, but is part of the main chipset, and sometime even work as a kind of Northbridge, and is directly in charge of sensitive part of the phone like the RAM (Hello Qualcomm, I'm pointing fingers to you).

      For obvious radio frequency licensing reasons, this baseband

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