Apple may be exempt from China's Web filter mandate

Non-Windows machines do not have to come with the software

Apple appears to be exempt from China's mandate that a controversial Internet filtering program be shipped with all computers sold in the country.

Computers that do not meet the software's technical requirements are excluded from the mandate, according to one PC maker.

China in recent weeks ordered foreign and domestic PC makers to package Green Dam Youth Escort, a program that blocks pornography and some sensitive political content online, with all computers sold in the country.

While China postponed the requirement from its original deadline this week, state media cited an official as saying the mandate will still eventually be enforced.

Green Dam is not being bundled with machines at the Apple store in Beijing because the software has no Mac version, a sales representative said Friday.

Meanwhile, a Lenovo spokesman said the Ministry of Industry and Information and Technology is not requiring non-Windows systems to come with the program

Lenovo will ship the software only with "applicable" PCs, meaning those that support Windows and other technical requirements, the spokesman said. Lenovo PCs that use Linux will not come with the program, he said.

Apple will still pre-install the program in accordance with the government mandate if a Mac version comes out, the sales representative said.

It is unclear if Green Dam will be released for other operating systems. A service representative at a sister company to Green Dam's main developer, Jinhui Computer System Engineering, said the company is testing the software on non-Windows platforms and will release an updated version if compatibility is added for other OSes.

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.

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Owen Fletcher

IDG News Service
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