Although it is a common practice “behind the scenes” according to a Foreign Policy report in 2017, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) passed a law forcing Chinese companies to collect data to be sent to state security and intelligence agencies, it was only recently revealed.
According to Steve Ryan, a former national security official, starting in 2006 Chinese companies began periodically stealing data from the military defense and technology area. From one day to the next, they formed a new business with the same technology that put the American company out of business, again and again.
A source at Foreign Policy said, “Those commercial entities are the commercial wing of the Party. They of course cooperate with intelligence services to achieve the Party’s goals.”
In 2017, the CCP passed a law forcing Chinese companies to work with Chinese intelligence and security agencies whenever they were asked to do so, legalizing a practice already common under the communist dictatorship.
Apparently, many of these technology companies do not intend to voluntarily participate in this illegal activity and only sought to succeed as a normal company, however, nothing under the CCP dictatorship can flourish without its approval, which, ironically, ends up being its failure as well.
According to a former CIA agent who spoke to Foreign Policy, the fact that thousands of private companies spy for the state gives the CCP a substantial advantage by having a high capacity to process data that even the United States does not have.
In February 2020, the Justice Department announced the prosecution of Chinese military personnel for hacking into Equifax, one of the largest credit information firms in the United States where Beijing managed to steal Social Security numbers, home addresses, dates of birth, driver’s license numbers, and credit card information from at least 145 million Americans.
Of course, these companies with international representation deny any cooperation with the state’s spy agencies, as the clear example of TikTok, Huawei, ZTE, and others who have been seriously accused of collecting data for the CCP but have repeatedly denied it.
However, the claims of innocence by these companies do not seem to convince the world, as the United States, Australia, New Zealand, UK, and Canada have banned the use of Huawei for their future 5G network citing national security issues.
National security experts believe that the CCP may be trying to undermine the U.S. economy by using stolen personal information.
The information may be used to strategically put financial stress on certain areas of business or give Chinese companies an advantage. The data can be used for market research and industry expertise, or to create better artificial intelligence algorithms.
President Trump’s trade war with the CCP has certainly exposed the bad practices of the Chinese communist regime to the world and the governments that have decided to continue feeding this evil machinery certainly share similar values or are minimally consumed by corruption.