China’s cyberspace regulator plans to issue new rules clamping down on the use of wireless file sharing functions such as Bluetooth and Apple’s AirDrop on national security grounds.
The move comes after protesters in China used AirDrop during anti-government protests in October 2022 to share content, bypassing strict internet censorship. Weeks later, Apple moved to limit the use of the AirDrop function on devices in China.
The draft proposal was issued earlier this week by the Cyberspace Administration of China, the powerful internet watchdog that reports to a body headed by leader Xi Jinping.
The aim of the regulation is to “maintain national security and social public interests” by regulating the use of close-range wireless communication tools such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and other technologies, it said.
People must not publish or share “illegal or harmful” information on such networks and should report violations to the regulator. Those who create or support such networks should require users to provide their real names and other personal information.