London: Concerns over Chinese spyware have prompted intelligence officials in the UK to strip back government and diplomatic vehicles, leading to the discovery of at least one SIM card capable of transmitting location data, according to British media outlet

Citing a serving security source, investigative reporter Richard Holmes, in an exclusive report, said the device, which had been placed inside a sealed part imported from a Chinese supplier. The tracking sims were reportedly installed by the vehicle manufacturer, and were found during a sweep that uncovered 'disturbing things'.

The report said Chinese officials have dismissed the allegations as 'groundless and sheer rumour'. "We are firmly opposed to political manipulation on normal economic and trade cooperation or any smear on Chinese enterprises," the Chinese official said.

The discovery raises national security concerns and has spurred calls from British politicians for a swift review into the "systemic threat" posed by Chinese intelligence, the reported.

"It (the tracking SIMs) gives the ability to survey government over a period of months and years, constantly filing movements, constantly building up a rich picture of activity," a source told the British publication, adding, "You can do it slowly and methodically over a very, very long time. That's the vulnerability."

As per the report, searches were conducted due to fears that Russian intelligence and Chinese services have been targeting UK ministers.

Senior Conservative MP Sir Iain Duncan Smith, said: "I don't know how much more the UK needs to know about the threat China poses to us all. Surely it is time to change the integrated review and refer to China as a systemic threat", according to

The potential threat is 'huge' because foreign intelligence services look to exploit 'backdoors' with Chinese technology, according to a former UK intelligence officer.

"Can the Chinese track our politicians if they want to? Yes. Can the Russians track our politicians if they want to? Yes. Can they listen to what they're up to in the cars? If they're tracking them, and they want to do that, of course they can," he told the UK publication.

This report comes amid growing security concerns over China in the Rishi Sunak-led UK.

Earlier, in November, the United Kingdom removed China's nuclear firm CGN from the construction of its Sizewell C nuclear power station, British media reported.

The announcement followed after UK PM Rishi Sunak announced that the 'golden era' of UK-China relations was 'over'. Sunak stressed that China posed a 'systemic challenge' to Britain's interests and values.