There’s one emoji you can’t see in China
Researcher discovers that censorship feature on iPhones in China can crash some devices
Did you know there’s one emoji that iPhone users in China can’t see?
If these users receive a text message with the Taiwan flag emoji, they see a white box with an X instead.
Wardle stumbled upon the discovery when a friend from Taiwan told him that whenever she got a message with the Taiwan flag emoji, or typed the word “Taiwan” -- the app would crash immediately.
Turns out, it was triggered by a bug that struck when the phone had certain language and country settings that included China or Chinese, causing the phone to get confused about what region it’s in.
Wardle’s friend, for instance, had her country set to United States and language set to English, followed by Chinese. The problem was fixed by changing the region from US to China, then back to US.
Wardle later reported the flaw to Apple, which was patched in iOS 11.4.1.
(Emoji originated in Japan, which is why there are so many symbols from that country… and probably explains why, in a country obsessed with trains, we have at least 13 railway-related emoji: 🛤 🚂 🚃 🚄 🚅 🚆 🚇 🚈 🚉 🚊 🚝 🚞 🚋)
In this case, it’s part of a much wider trend. Taiwan is a contentious issue for the Chinese government, which considers the island a breakaway province.