China has branded Apple's iPhone as a threat to national security, despite the billions of dollars that the manufacturing of the smartphone brings to the country.
The claim by the state-controlled China Central Television network was made due to the iPhone's feature of being able to track and time-stamp the location of its user.
The iPhone's "Frequent Locations" feature is the one in question, as with it on, the iPhone can trace the whereabouts of the user at any given time, with the data recorded.
"This is extremely sensitive data," said People's Public Security University of China online security institute head Ma Ding, who was interviewed by a broadcaster from the network. If the data were accessed, it could reveal an entire country's economic situation and "even state secrets," he added.
"We simply don't know what their motive is in collecting this information," the anchor also said.
However, the report fails to mention that other China-made smartphones, such as those by ZTE, Xiaomi and Huawei, also have features that allow them to track the locations of its users.
In addition, in a support article published by Apple on its Frequent Locations feature, the data that is gathered by the iPhone is only kept within the device itself. The information will not be sent to Apple or any other entity without the user's consent, and will only be used to provide the user with personalized location-based services such as predictive traffic routing.
The CCTV report also fails to mention that the Frequent Locations feature can also be completely turned off through the iPhone's Settings.
The CCTV network's report may be tagged as a sign of the times of the "post-Snowden" era, as governments, corporations and individuals have become more wary of security issues after Edward Snowden's revelations of surveillance activities made by U.S. spy agencies.
Apple had already previously been criticized by Chinese state media over allegations that the company was sending the data of Chinese iPhone users to intelligence agencies in the United States, with the media calling for "severe punishment" on Apple.
Apple is not the only company that has been under fire in China. Google is just one of the many search engines and news outlets that have been censored by the country to prevent any mention or celebration of the 25th year of China's crackdown on Tiananmen Square protestors. Microsoft, on the other hand, saw its Windows 8 operating system banned from government computers due to China's claim that the operating system was found lacking in security structures.