The U.S. National Counterintelligence and Security Center has launched a campaign to raise awareness in the U.S. business community about the dangers of doing business with Chinese companies because of the close relationship they have with the intelligence services, the military, and the regime that forces them to give access to confidential information of their customers and partners.
The recently launched campaign aims to curb the theft of confidential information such as personal data of Americans and intellectual property and ensure that American companies are not providing Beijing with technology that will allow them to dominate the world stage.
According to Michael Orlando, the deputy director of the Counterintelligence Center, the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts are focused on five critical areas:
Artificial intelligence, quantum computing, biotechnology, semiconductors, and autonomous systems.
Beijing is “using a range of legal, illegal and quasi-legal methods” to obtain intellectual property and data from U.S. citizens that it could use to try to dominate critical industries, Orlando told the Financial Times.
The main focus of the intelligence officials’ campaign is to contact American businesses and companies to let them know that all Chinese companies and universities have a close relationship, sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly, with the State Security Bureau, the agency that oversees China’s military and intelligence services.
The Center claims that Beijing implemented programs that resemble a military-civilian merger to force companies to share their technology with the military and intelligence services.
The Chinese regime also passed laws that force Chinese companies to hand over information on their foreign customers to the state apparatus, as may well be the case with the Tik Tok app that former President Trump tried to ban during his term in office because the company was sending Americans’ personal data to its servers in China.
People are not digesting this,” said Orlando, who stressed that the U.S. government was not warning companies not to do business with China. “If you’re going to do business and collaborate, be smart about it.”
The warnings and the Counterintelligence Center’s campaign come when Beijing appears to have succeeded in making a supersonic nuclear missile capable of leaving the atmosphere and hitting any target on Earth undetected by conventional radar and at speed faster than any missile known so far.
Even the United States admits it lacks the technology to defend against such a missile, although Beijing denied it was a weapon and said only a spacecraft.
Orlando also stressed that quantum computing was an area that the government had to make sure that U.S. companies were not helping the Chinese regime to profit through Chinese companies helping them break security encryption codes used by U.S. intelligence agencies.
Biotechnology, according to Edward You, national counterintelligence officer for emerging and disruptive technologies, is also an area that the CCP has used to obtain healthcare data on U.S. citizens.
You gave the example of BGI, a genetic research company headquartered in the industrial port city of Shenzhen that provides cost-effective services to U.S. hospitals and companies and collects DNA from its customers.
“They are on the path to developing the world’s largest data set,” You said.
In January of this year, former counterintelligence director William Evanina also warned about the same Chinese company, BGI, that had stolen the healthcare data of 80 percent of U.S. adults.
According to Evanina, biodata is used to learn people’s medical history, know what kind of drugs they need for their illnesses and monopolize the pharmaceutical industry, which China specifically dominates today.
According to a CNBC report, the Counterintelligence Center recommends a number of key steps to minimize the risks of doing business or dealing with China, including:
* Identify and protect your organization’s “crown jewels” – the most vital information.
* Establish security standards for suppliers, partners, and investors.
* Implementing an insider threat program