Apple iPhone a danger to China national security: state media

BEIJING Fri Jul 11, 2014 6:12am EDT

A staff member sets up the new iPhone 5Ss for a display picture at Apple Inc's announcement event in Beijing, September 11, 2013.  REUTERS/Jason Lee

A staff member sets up the new iPhone 5Ss for a display picture at Apple Inc's announcement event in Beijing, September 11, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Jason Lee

Related Topics

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese state media on Friday branded Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) iPhone a threat to national security because of the smartphone's ability to track and time-stamp user locations.

A report by broadcaster CCTV criticized the iPhone's "Frequent Locations" function for allowing users to be tracked and information about them revealed.

"This is extremely sensitive data," said a researcher interviewed by the broadcaster. If the data were accessed, it could reveal an entire country's economic situation and "even state secrets," the researcher said.

Apple was not available for immediate comment.

Apple has frequently come under fire from Chinese state media, which accused the company of providing user data to U.S. intelligence agencies and have called for 'severe punishment'. It has also been criticized for poor customer service.

The California-based company is not the only U.S. firm to suffer from Chinese media ire.

Google Inc (GOOGL.O) services have been disrupted in China for over a month, while the central government procurement office has banned new government computers from using Microsoft Corp's (MSFT.O) Windows 8 operating system.

Other U.S. hardware firms such as Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O) and IBM Corp (IBM.N) have experienced a backlash in China from what analysts and companies have termed the 'Snowden Effect', after U.S. spying revelations released last year by former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

(Reporting by Paul Carsten; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see
Comments (16)
EoinNow wrote:
China, Russia and Germany have all said it now. I like US citizens but even they don`t like the way their government works. This is the same in most free countries. Not liking your government is good as you want it to be better. If another persons government is affecting you or your government then the people of that country blame the country that is doing it. So I don`t like what the US is doing abroad (neither to they) so therefore I can say I don`t like the US. I just want to make this clear as so many people will think I hate them when I complain about the states. I don`t like a lot of things and if your country is responsible for said thing please don`t get offended when I complain.

Saying that I don`t like this spying and think the US should pull its finger out and start acting like a good grown up and stop spying. Not to keep going on … I do understand spying has its place and even Sun Tzu said it was necessary. My phone is not that place.

Jul 11, 2014 6:40am EDT  --  Report as abuse
mdsjnj wrote:
Solution is simple. Turn off the tracking.
This article is complete Bullshit. Telecom is owned by the Chinese Government. They made the deal to have AAPL because the demand was too high to ignore and even spent billions on infrastructure to handle the phone’s capability.
Google on the other is in fact in the business of spying. I just saw one of their hack-mobiles in my neighborhood yesterday & shut down my Fios til they were gone.

Jul 11, 2014 7:09am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Anthonykovic wrote:
the “backlash from China” is not quite right

the “backlash from the unelected communist government” would be a far more more accurate description

Jul 11, 2014 7:16am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.