With security concerns becoming paramount as the threat of cyberattacks and hackings increases, China-based e-commerce site Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and OEM ZTE Corp. are reportedly on track to develop a secure smartphone.

ZTE is reportedly developing a smartphone for the country's government agencies. The handset is secure and has its own OS. ZTE will be using a processing chip from a China-based supplier. This information comes courtesy of The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), which cites a spokesperson from ZTE Corp. as its source.

Alibaba, on the other hand, has apparently partnered with China's Ministry of Public Security to create a more secure OS which is meant for police officers.

The secure smartphone will not be targeted to the masses, but will protect officials and government employees from potential spying by foreign agencies.

Nearly every smartphone sold today uses an operating system originally designed in the United States. Together, Google's Android and Apple's iOS dominate the smartphone market, but China would like that to change.

It is believed that China is looking to create its own OS, chips and smartphones using components made in China in a bid to reduce dependency on American technology. The maximum percentage of smartphones available in the market deploy an OS that has been designed in the U.S.

The popular Android and iOS platforms power over 97 percent of smartphones in the consumer space. Evidently, China is looking to alter this scenario.

Moreover, the country's own technology use would help shield its devices from surveillance by the U.S.

"China is seeking to make its own secure smartphones, in an attempt to insulate its handsets from U.S. surveillance," notes the WSJ.

The country is fearful that at the NSA's request or any other government agency, U.S. companies could potentially include "back doors" in the gadgets they retail abroad. The back doors in hardware or software will basically be a shortcut which will simplify the affected device's hacking.

It is believed that the secure smartphone would be missing several "essential features" and, therefore, it would not have a mass market appeal. The device, as rumored, will not have GPS, camera, nor Wi-Fi/Bluetooth capabilities. The idea behind removing these features is to negate aspects which may potentially compromise the security.

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