Apple's new privacy feature will not be available in China

June 8, 2021 4:57 pm

Apple’s new privacy feature will not be available in China due to regulatory reasons.

Detail: The new feature called “Private Relay” was one of privacy protections that Apple announced at iCloud+at its Worldwide developers Conference on Monday.

Apple’s private relay enables users to hide web browsing behavior from Apple. The feature first sends web traffic to a server maintained by Apple, where it removes a piece of information called IP address. From there, Apple sends the traffic to a second server maintained by a third-party operator who assigns the user a temporary IP address and sends the traffic onward to its destination website.

Apple said the feature will prevent advertisers from using IP addresses to locate a person’s IP address.

Apple said it cannot offer the feature due to local laws.

Beside China, Apple said it will also not offer the feature in several other countries include Colombia, Egypt, Kazahstan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Uganda, Phiippines. 

Context: Apple’s private relay work similarly to virtual private network (VPN), which enables users to route their internet traffic through a server located somewhere else in the world to hide their browsing activity.

VPN is banned by Great Firewall effectively in China where people can not browse website like Google and Facebook.

To comply with local regulations, Chinese authorities has gradually removed VPN services from China’s app store since 2017