On Friday, China Central Television (CCTV) called Apple’s location-tracking function in iOS a “national security concern.” The state-run broadcaster quoted researchers who said the technology could allow others to gain access to Chinese “state secrets,” according to The Wall Street Journal.
At issue is the “Frequent Locations” functionality in iOS, which tracks a user’s geographic coordinates using cellular triangulation, Wi-Fi positioning, and GPS.
The report from CCTV could be a sign that Apple may soon face new rules and limits in the world’s largest consumer market. Though the CCTV doesn’t necessarily reflect the views of China’s top officials, they are highly influential. Previous reports have led some companies to shift policies or even pull products from the marketplace.
Apple currently holds a 6 percent share of China’s smartphone market, and the Cupertino, California-based company would like to see that number grow. In the most recent quarter, 24.8 percent of Apple’s global revenue came from greater China, which includes Hong Kong and Taiwan. Sales over the same period of time climbed 13 percent year over year.
China Mobile, the world’s largest cellular provider, began selling Apple iOS devices earlier this year. In addition, Apple has announced plans to triple the number of retail locations in the country.