Apple Demands Leaker Reveals Sources Under Threat of Being Reported to Police

Apple has sent a cease and desist letter to a leaker based in China as part of its continuing attempts to curtail leaks of unreleased products, according to Vice.

Apple Leak Feature
A Chinese citizen who shared images of stolen Apple prototypes on social media was sent a warning letter from Fangda Partners, Apple's law firm in China, on June 18, 2021. An extract from the letter read:

You have disclosed without authorization a large amount of information related to Apple's unreleased and rumored products, which has constituted a deliberate infringement of Apple's trade secrets. Through investigation, Apple has obtained relevant evidence about your unauthorized disclosure of Apple's unreleased and rumored products. Your intentional infringement is specifically manifested as: publishing unpublished information about Apple's new products through social media platforms, including but not limited to the design and performance of these new products.

The letter went on to ask the seller to stop obtaining, advertising, and selling leaked Apple devices and requested information about anyone who provided them with leaked devices. The leaker was also asked to sign a document agreeing to comply with the requests within 14 days of receiving the letter. It is not clear who the Chinese citizen was that leaked the prototype devices in this particular case.

A previous Vice investigation revealed that there is a gray market fueled by Chinese Apple or Foxconn employees who sneak unreleased hardware out of factories, which allows resellers to acquire devices to sell to collectors, some of who post images on social media.

Elsewhere, the original Twitter account of the leaker known as "Mr. White," with the handle @laobaiTD, was deleted around June 11. There is a new Mr. White account on Twitter posting images of Apple prototypes, but the original @laobaiTD was responsible for images purporting to depict a shorter, third-generation Apple Pencil and second-generation AirPods Pro circuitry.

Mr. White leaked accurate images of the iPhone 12 Pro's rear glass, an iPhone 12 mini display unit, the A14 chip, the iPad mini 5's chassis, and more, all before their official release, as well as leaked images of unreleased products such as a black ceramic Apple Watch Series 5, a Jet Black iPhone X, and a fifth-generation iPod touch with an alternate design.

The letter from Apple lines up with others sent last month to the reliable leaker known as "Kang," "CConceptCreator," who created leaker Jon Prosser's accurate renders of AirPods Max before they were released, and others. Another leaker called "Jin Store" on Twitter, who leaked images of accurate molds of the iPhone 12 lineup, told Vice that he had not received a letter from Apple.

While it seems that many of these letters were sent just over a month ago, it is increasingly clear that June saw a fierce and widespread attempt from Apple to cull information coming from individual leakers outside the United States.

Top Rated Comments

Armada2 Avatar
8 weeks ago
It would be funny if the leak is from a disgruntled employee in Cupertino and sends the leaks to China ?
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
grilledcheesesandwich Avatar
8 weeks ago
If only the leakers used MacRumors.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Goldfrapp Avatar
8 weeks ago
All roads lead to China
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kildraik Avatar
8 weeks ago


Attachment Image
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jk1221 Avatar
8 weeks ago
This is seriously messed up. Unless Apple has EVIDENCE that this "Mr White" did something illegal or participated in this alleged illegal activity directly, then reposting a photo sent to you is not a crime I'm aware of.

Imagine if this flew in the US and you could sue every journalist (which has a brought definition at best) when they posted something that a company did not want to be released to the public....

But of course, go after the Chinese citizens who have no such rights. The low-hanging fruit. Real big of Apple who claims to support all of these ethical policies globally, but then uses those abuses to their advantage when convenient.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rpmurray Avatar
8 weeks ago
It is not illegal in China to sell or leak trade secrets of foreign companies.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Leak Feature

Apple Warns Leakers to Stop Releasing Information After Multiple Products Revealed in Leaks

Friday July 16, 2021 3:19 am PDT by
After a number of significant product leaks in recent years, Apple is now explicitly warning leakers to stop releasing confidential information. The highly reliable Apple leaker known as "Kang" and a number of other leakers have reportedly received warning letters from lawyers representing Apple. According to posts on Kang's Weibo account, the letter cautioned leakers that they must not...
apple leak feature blue

Apple Warned Leakers About Misleading Third-Party Accessory Makers

Thursday July 29, 2021 6:59 am PDT by
Apple warned leakers that sharing information about unreleased products could mislead third-party accessory makers and disappoint customers, in cease and desist letters sent by legal firms representing the company. Vice today highlighted that, in an extensive letter sent to a leaker based in China, Apple warned that leaks could give third-party accessory makers the wrong dimensions and...
AppleEventLogoFeature

Reliable Leaker Known as 'Kang' Hit With Warning From Apple

Thursday June 24, 2021 5:45 am PDT by
The highly reliable Apple leaker known as "Kang" and a number of other unspecified leakers have reportedly received warnings from lawyers representing Apple. According to posts on Kang's Weibo account, Apple recently commissioned a law firm to send admonitory letters to a number of leakers. The letter purportedly cautioned leakers that they must not disclose information about unreleased...
iphone 13 lineup dummy models

Apple Secretly Had a 'Double Agent' in the iPhone Leaker Community

Wednesday August 18, 2021 9:53 am PDT by
For more than a year, a member of the iPhone leaks and jailbreaking community was actually serving as a "double agent" for Apple by secretly providing the company with information about other leakers, according to Motherboard. The report claims that Andrey Shumeyko, who was known as "YRH04E" online, advertised internal Apple information and stolen devices for sale on platforms like Twitter...
iphone 13 matte black and bronze

Leaker Details Last-Minute iPhone 13, Apple Watch Series 7, and AirPods 3 Rumors

Wednesday September 8, 2021 6:55 am PDT by
The leaker Max Weinbach has today shared a series of rumors about Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 models, Apple Watch Series 7, and third-generation AirPods via his Twitter account @PineLeaks. Weinbach's most notable iPhone 13 rumors from his latest tweets are listed below: No price rises for the iPhone 13 lineup. The iPhone 13 mini will offer approximately one additional hour of battery life....
apple watch series 7 mystery

What Went Wrong: Apple Watch Series 7 Rumors Edition

Thursday September 16, 2021 6:57 am PDT by
Going into an Apple fall season, excitement typically revolves around the new iPhones. This year, however, the Apple Watch stole some of the iPhone's spotlight due to reports, leaks, and rumors suggesting it would be getting a significant redesign. One of the biggest surprises during Apple's "California streaming" event was the new Apple Watch, not because of the features or design it...
ipad mini 6 cutout

Aluminum Cutout Allegedly Based on iPad Mini 6 Showcases Thinner Bezels, Larger Camera, Touch ID in Power Button

Thursday August 19, 2021 5:28 am PDT by
Images of an aluminum cutout allegedly based on the upcoming sixth-generation iPad mini have surfaced online. The cutout is largely in line with rumors of what we can expect in the iPad mini 6, including a larger display in lieu of a Home button, a thinner body, and flat edges. The images originated from the website techordo.com in cooperation with a leaker named xleaks7, whose track record...
ipad mini 6 mold

iPad Mini 6 to Feature a Surprising Design Change

Monday August 30, 2021 2:24 am PDT by
The upcoming sixth-generation iPad mini will feature a surprising design change, according to recently shared images of a purported aluminum cutout of the device. The images of the aluminum cutout originated from the website techordo.com in collaboration with a leaker named "xleaks7", whose track record for accurate leaks is not well established. Although the aluminum cutout shows a...
Child Safety Feature yellow

Global Coalition of Policy Groups Urges Apple to Abandon 'Plan to Build Surveillance Capabilities into iPhones'

Thursday August 19, 2021 1:23 am PDT by
An international coalition of more than 90 policy and rights groups published an open letter on Thursday urging Apple to abandon its plans to "build surveillance capabilities into iPhones, iPads, and other products" – a reference to the company's intention to scan users' iCloud photo libraries for images of child sex abuse (via Reuters). "Though these capabilities are intended to protect...
iphone 13 label

'iPhone 13' Name Emerges on Alleged Packaging Stickers

Thursday August 26, 2021 3:42 am PDT by
A photo purporting to show the sticker tabs used to seal Apple products in their boxes appears to confirm the "iPhone 13" name for the company's upcoming 2021 iPhone lineup. The photo was highlighted by "DuanRui" on Twitter, linking to a post on the Chinese social media network Weibo. The validity of the image is not known, but it is not unusual to see images of iPhone packaging emerging...