Smartwatches and all other smart wearables have been banned by the Chinese army. Smartwatches pose a serious threat to the 1.6 million-strong People’s Liberation Army, according to the Liberation Army Daily—the country’s leading military newspaper. The Daily reported China’s effort to strengthen cybersecurity and secure loopholes created by overseas-made technology. “The moment a soldier puts on a device that can record high-definition audio and video, take photos, and process and transmit data, it’s very possible for him or her to be tracked or to reveal military secrets,” said the report.
NBC News confirmed the report from the daily with anonymous members of the Chinese Army. The ban was implemented after a new recruit received a smartwatch from his girlfriend and used the device to take a photo of his fellow soldiers. The watch was then confiscated by a squad leader and the recruit was reported to higher authorities, who ruled that such devices can harm military security.