Chinese media reporters have discovered that backup chargers can eavesdrop, locate citizens, and “live broadcast” citizens’ lives. However, this “spy backup charger,” which violates personal privacy, has been sold widely on e-commerce platforms in recent years.

WeChat channel “Ban Yue Tan“—a publication of Xinhua News Agency, under the direction of China’s Propaganda Department, reported on July 27 that, in recent years, an eavesdropper and locator with other functions in one backup charger appeared in the market. Just integrate a communication SIM card, and a backup charger can turn into an eavesdropper and locator. It can remotely eavesdrop and accurately locate individuals at any time and anywhere.

The Paper quoted Ban Yue Tan’s report, saying that after Mr. Wang in Guiyang accidentally broke his backup charger, he took the device to maintenance staff. When testing, they found that this backup charger has a complete set of eavesdropping and locating devices. The repairman said that once someone took control, Mr. Wang’s life would be a “live broadcast,” which made him “shiver.”

The investigation by reporter Ban Yue Tan shows that many businesses selling this product use a secret play on words. For example, the product is named “Displacement” or “anti-theft recording,” and some used symbols or letters to replace sensitive words, such as: locating is set to Y, and recording set to W.

This type of charger has a variety of colors and designs, but most have eavesdropping, remote recording, accurate location, and other functions. They are priced from $44. to $89 and are sold on several e-commerce platforms.

The report said that a store selling backup chargers was found through the “Xianyu” platform and had four products on display. The description page of the backup charger sales in the product description had GPS and locating. When reporter Ban Yue Tan expressed his hope to buy this backup charger, customer service said that it could be ordered immediately with the location, eavesdropping, and other functions.

The reporter ordered a backup charger for $45. After delivery, referring to the seller’s manual, the reporter downloaded an application called “GPS365” to his mobile phone. Then he used the account provided by the seller,, and the App provided location, saved contacts, and other functions.

The reporter opened the “locator” for testing and found that the movement trajectory of the backup charger carrier can be clearly recorded, even in subways, parking lots,, and other places, without affecting the accuracy of the location display.

Customer service told the reporter to set up “voice control in the app.” The sound around the backup charger reached 50 decibels, and the ability to record started working and automatically switched to the mobile phone; You can also add your mobile number to the App’s white list, then use that to dial the phone number provided in the manual, the backup charger will become an auto answer cell phone.

The report said further confidential interviews showed that modifying backup chargers was not that difficult.

Most of the contact booths on the e-commerce platform said it was possible to order and choose the function, color, and style.

Xia Guijun, customer department director of Guizhou China Mobile Company, said the principle and operation of converting a backup charger into an eavesdropping machine and locator are relatively simple. “Just integrate a phone sim, rely on the power source in the backup charger, use the SIM card through the wireless signal access to the Internet, then transmit the orientation data to the specified server. The user of the specific mobile application sends a request to the server, and it is possible to obtain the exact location data and recording of the SIM card’s communication,” they said.

The report added that in addition to backup chargers, Bluetooth speakers commonly used in plugs, lighters, etc., are often modified into locating devices or eavesdroppers. Many sellers use the slogan “anti-theft, prevent the elderly and children from becoming lost” to sell products.

Currently, products such as GPS navigation have not been included in China’s list of controlled products. Together with the recording function and other functions, there are no related regulations, thus forming a “blind spot” regulation area.

Sign up to receive our latest news!

By submitting this form, I agree to the terms.