Apple Smartphone Users Targeted in China



Smartphone usage among Chinese consumers is high, which comes as no surprise. Due to the number of smartphone users, it comes as no surprise that those who access the Chinese Internet, are often going to find that they are being targeted for the latest scams and viruses that are on the market. For Apple iPhone users in China, the new security breach has made some Chinese consumers question their faith in Apple products. Further details are being released of other security issues that are being found with iPhone users in China, and the future of Apple could be questionable in China.

Smartphone Attack on Chinese iPhone Users

A video streaming app that was imitating an app published by Kuaibo of Beijing is being linked as the main culprit for a string of malware that is being found on iPhones of many Chinese consumers. This app was being downloaded directly from Apple’s store, which raises even more questions about the security protocols of Apple. The malware is being called YiSpecter.

Those who were downloading this were under the impression they were downloading an app that would allow the person to watch pirated videos or other material that is not allowed under Chinese law.

Another security threat for smartphone users in China was with the XCodeGhost that was being downloading unknowingly via the toolkit XCode, which is not officially adopted by Apple. However, the damage has been done, as there are over 150 apps that security researchers believe have been affected by this strain of malware.

Learn more about Apple in China here

What Information is Being Collected via the Smartphone

Those users who have had their iPhone infected with these strains of malware are going to find that there are several pieces of information that could be gathered from the person. This includes information about the person’s phone habits, such as how many minutes per day they talk, how many SMS messages are being sent, their access to the Internet, and even individual internet habits. The YiSpecter could even affect the settings that the person has on their smartphone, making it feel as though nothing is private any longer.

The Future of Apple

What many Chinese consumers are questioning is Apple itself, as these attacks seem to be primarily happening on the iPhone system. Other brands of smartphones are not reporting such troubling information. Professionals are warning that this is just another example of how the Chinese Internet must change, and definitions need to be set along with better perimeters. So is Apple going to become a thing of the past in China?

Chances are, Apple will rebound from this. However, some consumers may never purchase another Apple device again, given how many security issues that they have been having. The smartphone market in China is bigger than ever, thus consumers do have other choices besides Apple, something that Apple needs to remember.

Read more about smartphone usage in China here

About Author

Social Brand Watch (SBW) is a collection of experts in digital, mobile and social media in China. SBW was created to complement Resonance's China Social Branding Report, a bi-weekly report focusing on modern marketing methods of the world's top brands in China.

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