Apple CEO Tim Cook delivers a keynote address at the 2020 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino. california
Brooks Kraft/Apple Inc/Handout via Reuters
Guangzhou, China — Apple’s new feature designed to give users more privacy when browsing the web isn̵7;t available in China. which is one of the iPhone maker’s most important markets.
Apple unveiled a new service called iCloud+ at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on Monday. One of the features included in it is “Private Relay”.
When users surf the Internet using Safari, their data is sent through two separate servers to conceal the identity of the user and the sites they are visiting. As a result, not even Apple or the user’s carrier can see that information.
It’s a little like a virtual private network (VPN) where users can route their Internet traffic through servers located elsewhere in the world to mask their browsing activity.
China’s so-called Great Firewall allows authorities to block websites from accessing within China, including Google and Facebook. VPNs are often used to bypass China’s strict internet controls.
An Apple spokesperson told CNBC that Private Relay will not work in China and some countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Belarus and Uganda.
Apple says it can’t offer features in these countries due to local laws.
Using an unauthorized VPN to access blocked websites is illegal in China. While technically Apple’s Private Relay is not a VPN, it works the same way.
In 2017, the US tech giant removed a number of VPN services from the China App Store in order to comply with local regulations.