China is many things, not just the United States’ biggest creditor and the home to cheap child labor that assembles your iPhone in sweatshops. One thing we can all agree on, though: In China, the government is pretty much in control of many things, including what you read, listen to and consume on the web (hint: The Great Firewall of China). The same could apply to mobile software if it weren’t for one slight problem: China doesn’t get to control the App Store where hundreds of thousands of apps are vying for users’ attention.
So when the Ministry of National Defense of the People’s Republic of China decided to release their official app called PLA Daily, basically a glorified news reader, one of their top priorities was to bypass Apple’s mobile bazaar, the environment they cannot control. Instead, the app’s target audience – mostly members of the People’s Liberation Army of China’s (PLA) – are expected to jailbreak their devices in order to install the unsanctioned app.
iSmashPhone.com has the story:
The app isn’t going to be an official App Store app. Not here or in China. Users must jailbreak (install software that allows for use of the iPhone that was not intended by Apple) their iPhone if they want to read up on what the PLA is doing. They will receive news and updates direct from the PLA’s Daily. It’s interesting that the iPhone must be jailbroken in order to use the app. Usually, jailbreak apps are made by single independent users who want to add a certain functionalities not included in their iPhone. Larger, public organizations have always stuck to official app store releases.
Of course, it’s also possible Apple rejected the app so the powers that be reckoned to give Apple a taste of their own medicine. Either way, Chinese armed forces have gotten their free publicity.