China's military bans Apple Watch

China's military bans Apple Watch
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The Apple Watch is all the rage in China, but won't be found on the wrists of the 1.6 million Chinese soldiers.

The Asian power's military has banned the smartwatch and other wearable technology over cybersecurity concerns that the devices could be used to track troops, record audio and video and capture military secrets.


The move was slipped into a story from the People’s Liberation Army Daily, the Chinese military’s official newspaper. NBC News confirmed the report with members of the Chinese army.

The story quotes the Chinese Defense Ministry.

“The use of wearables with Internet access, location information and voice-calling functions should be considered a violation of national security regulations when used by military personnel,” the agency said.

The ban is part of Beijing’s broader efforts to shore up domestic cybersecurity and better control the flow of data within China’s borders.

Officials have proposed counterterrorism, national security and banking technology rules that all include a cybersecurity component. Essentially, the rules would require companies operating in China and foreign companies supplying technology to China to use Beijing-approved encryption and submit source code for inspection.

The international business community and foreign governments have spoken out harshly against the mandates, calling them protectionism masking as cybersecurity.

President Obama told Chinese leader Xi Jinping directly the guidelines were a bad idea and would hurt China’s economy. Top U.S. officials also traveled to Beijing to protest the rules, succeeding in getting the banking tech portion temporarily paused.