Beijing News reports that Tim Cook has agreed to allow China’s State Internet Information Office to carry out security audits of Apple products sold in the country. Cook reportedly made the offer during his meeting with China’s Cyberspace Administration minister Lu Wei in December.
China has long expressed suspicion over the security of Apple products, seemingly resulting from frosty relations with the U.S. Government. A state-run TV station in China described the iPhone as a “national security concern” last July due to its location-tracking capabilities. Apple responded by pointing out that location data is stored on the phone, not on Apple’s servers, and is encrypted …
China was also claimed to have banned government purchasing of Apple products last summer, though this was later explained as merely a temporary administrative matter.
The Chinese government was said to have been behind a phishing attack on iCloud, the government firewall redirecting all iCloud.com traffic to a fake server. This is believed to be one of the topics discussed in a meeting Tim Cook had in October with the Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai.
No details were given regarding the nature of the security audits; reports state simply that Apple will cooperate with checks by Chinese officials.