People in China are liking and are impressed by the new action-packed advertisement from Apple that features Hong Kong kung fu star Donnie Yen Ji-dan playing as iPhone’s privacy protection features. Here’s the news story.

Applauded in China

This week, Apple released a new ad exclusive for its customers and people in China that promotes iPhone’s privacy protection features, and the Chinese are so far giving the action-filled advertisement some positive reception. 

To present iPhone’s privacy protection features in a very quirky and effective way, the American tech giant chose Hong Kong’s martial arts star Yen to portray these features. 

In the one-minute-and-three-second video, the kung fu star is seen interfering, giving some kung fu kicks and punches to people snooping on others’ iPhones in offices, supermarkets, and parks. 

In the ad, Yen is wearing a black suit printed with a design of a modified Apple logo with a padlock.

Yen is an award-winning actor, and also a martial artist and action director from Hong Kong. Regarded as one of Hong Kong’s top action stars, he is hugely credited for bringing mixed martial arts (MMA) into mainstream Asian movies by incorporating MMA in many of his films since the 2000s.

Some of his works include “John Wick: Chapter 4,” “Mulan,” “Chasing the Dragon,” “Rogue One,” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny.”

His new ad said, “To safeguard the security of personal information to the greatest extent, this is very iPhone,” adding it “strictly” protects user data. 

iPhone’s privacy protection features constitute app tracking transparency, health App HealthKit information protection, Safe Enclave-encrypted Face ID data, and Safari intelligent anti-tracking, among others. 

As of Thursday, this new Apple ad had accumulated 100,000 views on the company’s official WeChat page and over 51,000 views on Yen’s personal Weibo account. And, still counting.


However, though the ad is widely applauded in China, controversies still surround it. The ad is published amidst a time Chinese consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about their privacy, having the ad touch on a sensitive topic among these Chinese people. 

One of these instances is the former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) consultant and the infamous Edward Snowden’s leak of documents concerning people’s privacy in 2013, making some who have seen Apple’s new ad question its track record in privacy protection. 

In that instance, according to Snowden, the United States National Security Agency was able to obtain direct access to data held by Apple and Google via a “secret program” called Prism. 

Apple denied this, saying it did “not provide any government agency with direct access to [its] servers.”

Also, in 2016, the Cupertino-based technology company was lambasted for refusing the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) request to access the iPhone of a suspect in a mass shooting in San Bernardino, California. 

However, the Chinese government is proactive in promoting privacy with the regulations it implements, such as the Personal Information Protection Law and Data Security Law. 

Furthermore, since 2019, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has named and shamed thousands of apps for illegally collecting user information. 

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