Official Chinese military app requires jailbroken iPhone

The Chinese government has released an official app for people (both domestic and oversees) to keep tabs on what the People's Liberation Army (PLA) is up to. There's just one catch: you'll have to jailbreak your iPhone to use it.

An iphone app launched by the Ministry of National Defense of the People's Republic of China. SCMP Pictures (HANDOUT)

The Chinese government has released an official app for people (both domestic and oversees) to keep tabs on what the People's Liberation Army (PLA) is up to. There's just one catch: you'll have to jailbreak your iPhone to use it.

One of the few apps to come from a major group to not go through Apple's App Store (the U.S. Army has its own app available in the App Store), the PLA app requires its users to jailbreak their iPhones before they can download the app.

The report, from ismashphone.com, says that growth in the iPhone market in China "during the first quarter of 2011 shot up by nearly 250 percent year-over-year. We also learned that China has become the second largest iPhone app market, second only to the U.S."

But, the notoriously control-centric Chinese government apparently had some concerns with Apple's stringent App Store guidelines. The app claims to be part of a movement to create more transparency surrounding the PLA, though with complete control of the content of the app coming from the Chinese government (the app is essentially an RSS aggregate of military news sources) it is easy to see that the Chinese Defense Ministry is simply pandering to oversees pressure for greater access to military goings on.

Perhaps the move to make the app only available for jailbroken iPhones was a subtle stab at Apple's policies or closed ecosystem. Either way, if you want to keep tabs on the PLA (as the PLA would like to have you) you'll need to keep your iPhone jailbroken. At least for now.

What do you think about China's move to make its military app available on jailbroken iPhones? Let me know in the comments!

 

ARTICLE DISCUSSION

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

Hot on CNET

CNET's giving away a 3D printer

Enter for a chance to win* the Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer and all the supplies you need to get started.