Apple’s iPhone under spotlight for navigating users to weather website recommending porn
Published: Jul 13, 2021 06:53 PM
Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Apple's iPhones are under the Chinese media's spotlight after a user in Central China's Hunan Province complained about its built-in weather app which navigated him to a weather forecast website recommending porn content.

The consumer surnamed Yuan from Changsha in Hunan told The Paper on Monday that Tianqi, a built-in weather mobile app of Apple's iPhone, with which users check weather conditions, navigated him to a weather forecast website Hefeng Tianqi, which recommended a whole slew of pornography applications and contents. 

When contacted by the Global Times on Tuesday, a PR specialist surnamed Guo from Hefeng Tianqi clarified that Apple's iPhone is not held accountable for the incident although his company cooperates with the tech giant. 

Guo also defended that the illegal contents were not recommended by his company, but instead the third-party advertisement union of Google, which his company also cooperates with, should be responsible for the illegal advertisements appearing on the website. His company will complain to the Cyberspace Administration of China and other related authorities about Google's business in China. 

"The third-party advertisement union should censor the content first," Guo explained, expressing the regret of the company for such an incident and admitting that from the perspective of techniques it is hard to entirely avoid such contents. 

According to Guo, as soon as the company received the complaints from the consumer, the company suspended all its advertisement pushes. The function will resume after it finishes content screening.

According to an earlier report by The Paper, Yuan expressed his concerns because weather is closely related to people's daily life and weather apps are frequently used. It casts an extremely bad influence on the public if such apps contain pornography.

He said it was hard for him to believe the weather website would blatantly recommend porn to users, adding that the porn app navigation adverts appeared no matter which city he checks.

According to Guo, apart from artificial censors on the content, his company has been doing R&D on a function that allows users to block and report such illegal contents to the website, and it is currently under testing.