The Chinese have no easy life when it comes to using telecommunication devices. They were delighted to find that the Apple Watch 3 LTE modem will be available in China. But that joy did not last long because the government blocked the possibility of using mobile networks with the new Apple smartwatch. All through the difficulty of monitoring the eSIM card.
The nano SIM card is small, but its use in smartwatch would require too much space. The manufacturer would have to dedicate space not only to the SIM card but also to the reader and the slot. Therefore, Apple and other smartwatch manufacturers are deciding to implement an electronic SIM card, i.e. eSIM. Unfortunately, this solution is only supported by a few operators. Therefore, the Apple Watch 3 LTE is available only in 10 countries. In China, this service was provided by China Unicom operator.
Chinese operator switched off LTE at Apple Watch 3 just a month after the launch.
Using cellular connectivity with Apple Watch 3 requires purchase of a special tariff plan. The operator treats this smartwatch as a separate subscriber device, because if it does not look it has its own SIM card. In the United States this pleasure costs about $10 monthly. However, in China, the only operator that offered the service, written on its website that it was only tests. Apple has been informed by China Unicom that the mobile data service on Apple Watch 3 has been suspended. The media speculate that the decision came directly from the government, which was not satisfied with the way of monitoring subscribers using eSIM devices. This is not the first of its kind. Recently in China, WhatsApp stopped working, and before that Apple had to remove VPN applications from the App Store which were unauthorized by the Chinese government. Apple is certainly not happy with this turn of events, because for some time their devices lose popularity in China.
Source: Wall Street Journal