Chinese iPhone users angry about Siri Olympic medals gaffe

Ios 14 Compact Ui Siri
Ios 14 Compact Ui Siri (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Chinese iPhone users are angry with Apple because of a problem with Siri.
  • Users took to Weibo because Siri couldn't read out the number of gold medals won by China.
  • Apple says a glitch meant Siri couldn't read out the names of more than one country if they had the same medal tally.

Chinese iPhone users have taken to the internet to express their displeasure with Apple after a Siri bug meant the virtual assistant couldn't read out the number of gold medals the country had won.

As noted by SCMP:

Apple's virtual assistant Siri felt the wrath of Chinese social media users this week after the artificial intelligence system was unable to read out China's tally of gold medal wins at the Tokyo Olympics due to an apparent technical glitch.

Users took to Weibo this week with videos of Siri apparently struggling to read out how many gold medals China had won. According to blogs who had spoken with Apple support, this was simply caused by a glitch because both China and the U.S. had the same number of medals, with Siri unable to read out more than one name.

The issue has now been fixed, but has prompted anger over suggestions Apple had somehow intentionally done this:

Despite the technical explanation, Siri's omission fanned online speculation in China that the US tech giant may have deliberately snubbed the country, amid rising nationalism as tensions mount over tech and trade. "People only believe what they want to believe," digital product influencer Wo Shi Konglong Jun wrote on Weibo, China's equivalent to Twitter.

Other's noted the problem but quipped that they'd been using Huawei to support nationally made goods. China currently sits atop the Olympic medals table with 18 golds and 38 total medals.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9