iPhone a national threat, claims China's media, citing location tracker as a big security concern

By Joseph Mayton, Tech Times | July 11, 5:35 PM

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China has accused the iPhone of being a threat to national security. It could throw a hiccup into Apple's plans for greater expansion into China.
(Photo : Apple)

China's official media is again lashing out at Apple's iPhone, telling citizens the smartphone is a threat to the country's national security as the phone can be tracked and locations of users can be followed.

It is the latest in what appears to be a continuing battle between Apple and the Chinese government.

The controversy stems from the iPhone's Frequent Locations feature, news reports on CCTV, China Central Television, suggest.

An unnamed official was quoted as saying the network location information is "extremely sensitive data" and if someone were able to get that information, the official argued that the country's "economic situation" and "even state secrets" could be unearthed.

Statistics indicate Apple has about 6 percent of the overall Chinese smartphone market. But when it comes to high-end, more expensive (over $500) handsets, Apple accounts for 80 percent of  the market.

Surprisingly, a large number of China's top business executives and government officials are, and have been, using the iPhone, including China's first lady Peng Liyuan, who only recently switched to Chinese company ZTE for her smartphone.

It is unclear what will happen with Apple in China, as the Chinese government continues to put pressure on American companies and the U.S. government over security and privacy issues.

It is not the first time Apple has faced criticism in China. Last year, CEO Tim Cook was forced to apologize over alleged discrimination policies regarding warranty issues.

 

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