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Apple responds to reports that it sends user traffic to China’s Tencent

After Apple was accused of bowing down to China by removing the HKmap.live app from its official App Store last week, a series of media reports over the weekend suggested that the tech giant was engaged in other shady behavior related to China. More precisely, the company was accused of configuring its Safari browser to secretly send user traffic to the Chinese tech firm Tencent. Apple strongly denies those allegations, and has provided an explanation for what is going on with Safari and Tencent.

In order to help users avoid fraudulent websites, Safari consults blacklists of known malicious websites. For a long time, it only used Google’s Safe Browsing service for this purpose. However, earlier this year, Safari began using Tencent’s safe browsing system as well. While media reports have suggested that this means Apple is sending browsing traffic to Tencent servers, the tech company says that the traffic only goes the other way, namely Tencent sends a copy of its safe browsing database to Safari users, so that the browser can locally check whether or not a certain website has been blacklisted. Apple claims that the system has been set up so that no browsing traffic is ever sent to Tencent and Google.

Read more: Apple responds to reports that it sends user traffic to China’s Tencent

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