- The Taiwan flag emoji has disappeared for Hong Kong and Macau iPhone users in the latest iPhone versions.
- The Taiwan flag emoji already wasn’t present in iPhone emoji keyboards for mainland China.
- China does not recognize Taiwan, which is ruled by the Republic of China, as an independent country and claims it as one of its provinces.
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The Taiwan flag emoji has disappeared from the latest iPhone versions for users in Hong Kong and Macau, the Hong Kong Free Press’s Kris Cheng reports.
Users on Hong Kong online forums spotted this change. The People’s Republic of China claims Taiwan as one of its provinces and does not recognize it as an independent country.
When Hong Kong and Macau users updated to iOS 13.1.1 or above, the emoji for the Republic of China flag, or Taiwan’s flag, disappeared from the emoji keyboard. The iOS 13.1.1 rolled out at the end of September.
Previously, the Taiwan flag emoji was already not present for iPhones in mainland China. An article on the Apple blog Hiraku says that any device model with the “CN” or “ZA” region, meaning China and Hong Kong, will not be able to use the Taiwan flag emoji. The same applies if users have a device from another region but has been set to Hong Kong or Macau.
Business Insider has reached out to Apple for comment.