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China attempting to steal western technology, alleges FBI and MI5

MI5 Director General & FBI Director

The head of the FBI and Britain’s MI5 on Wednesday warned business leaders about efforts from the Chinese government to steal Western technology for competitive gain, adding that China has a longstanding practice of hacking and stealing proprietary information to try to get an economic advantage.

 

In a rare joint address at the British intelligence service’s headquarter in London, FBI Director Christopher Wray said China was the “biggest long-term threat to our economic and national security” and had interfered in politics, including recent elections. Business leaders should partner with the FBI and MI5 so they can have the appropriate intelligence about this threat, Wray added.

MI5 has doubled its work against Chinese activity in the last three years and would be doubling it again, said the agency’s Director-General Ken McCallum adding that MI5 is now running seven times as many investigations related to activities of the Chinese Communist Party compared to 2018.

While speaking in front of an audience that included business executives, FBI’s Wray stated that Beijing often disguises its hand in order to obtain influence and access where companies don’t suspect it. “Outside of China, their government uses elaborate shell games to disguise its efforts from foreign companies and from government investment-screening programs like CFIUS, America’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S,” he said.

China deployed cyber espionage to “cheat and steal on a massive scale”, with a hacking program larger than that of every other major country combined, Wray added.

MI5 head also stated that intelligence about cyber threats had been shared with 37 countries and that in May a sophisticated threat against aerospace had been disrupted.

Meanwhile, China Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian dismissed the allegations saying that the British intelligence was trying to “hype up the China threat theory” and he advised the head of MI5 to “cast away imagined demons”.

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