Apple to offer domestic Xcode downloads in China, after recent App Store malware outbreak

Last week, security analysts revealed that multiple apps on Apple's official software store in China that had been infected with malware. Known as XcodeGhost, the malware was embedded into these apps by 'tainted' versions of Apple's Xcode developer tools that were used to build them.

Even some well-known apps were found to have been infected - including the hugely popular mobile chat application WeChat. Apple has since removed the infected software from the App Store and replaced it with malware-free versions, and it's now outlined further improvements, which appear to address concerns raised by developers in China.

Speaking with Chinese site Sina.com, Apple's head of marketing, Phil Schiller, said that the company would make it easier for developers in the country to get access to its official Xcode dev tools.

It has emerged that many developers resorted to downloading Xcode from unofficial Chinese sources because of the slow connection speeds when trying to grab the software from Apple's servers outside of China. Some developers told Reuters that Apple wasn't doing enough to support those who create software for its platform in China - especially given that it's now the company's second-largest market.

Schiller said that Apple will now offer official downloads from within China, to ensure that developers there can gain access faster domestic access to its servers. In doing so, it hopes to remove the pain point that previously prompted devs to seek out unofficial - and ultimately nefarious - sources from which to download its tools.

However, while Apple has openly acknowledged the malware outbreak, Schiller pointed out that the company doesn't know of a single instance in which any of the recently-infected apps was used to share customer data with a third party.

Source: Sina.com (Chinese) via Reuters

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