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This article was published on September 21, 2012


    Apple’s Maps satellite and hybrid views only show China and Taiwan while in China

    Apple’s Maps satellite and hybrid views only show China and Taiwan while in China
    Chad Catacchio
    Story by

    Chad Catacchio

    Chad Catacchio is a contributor writing on a variety of topics in tech. He has held management positions at a number of tech companies in th Chad Catacchio is a contributor writing on a variety of topics in tech. He has held management positions at a number of tech companies in the US and China. Check out his personal blog to connect with him or follow him on Twitter (if you dare).

    So we were just checking out Apple’s new widely dissed Maps app, and found something extremely interesting: if you are in China on a domestic network (i.e. not on a VPN) and you look at the satellite or hybrid view, you only see China. That’s right, it seems the entire rest of the world is not available (Taiwan is included in the map, fyi, but the actual satellite images are scraped out).

    We tried dropping pins at other locations around the world to see what would happen, but sure enough all we got was a black screen until we moved back to China. The standard view does not seem to be affected. When we switched to a VPN that connects to the US, satellite view worked fine. While Apple has committed to hiring more people to make Maps better and want us to give it more time, something tells us that this won’t be changing for users in China anytime soon.

    Header image via Flickr / calsidyrose