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Published on : Jul 14, 2014

China’s state broadcaster has termed a new function of Apple Inc’s iPhone a “threat to the country’s security”. The iPhone’s ‘Frequent Locations’ application can track user locations and their time stamp and state media has criticized the smartphone function saying if data were to be accessed, it could disclose the economic condition and possibly even secrets of an entire nation.

Apple defended the application saying that the tracker does not share users’ location but is used by a user to make quick decisions regarding activities such as restaurants, shopping and travel depending on his current location. The smartphone maker also confirmed that the application can be disabled in the phone settings.

The California-based company currently holds a mere 6% share of China’s smartphone market, with Samsung dominating the market with 17.8% and even local smartphone maker Xiaomi taking up 8.3% of the market share.

This is not the first time Apple has come under the scanner of Chinese media. The company was earlier accused of sharing user data with U.S. intelligence services and has also been chastised for poor customer services.

Besides Apple, there have been other U.S. firms who have come under fire in China. The state government has banned computers in government offices from using Microsoft’s Windows 8 OS, and Google Inc services have been disturbed for over a month in China.