- A rare joint statement from officials of the FBI and MI5; warning the tech companies of Chinese state-sponsored espionage.
- China sponsors an extensive scale of hacking activities; this threat is bigger than every other major country combined.
- Stealing valuable information from western technology companies will result in Chinese products undercutting businesses.
A rare joint statement from officials of the FBI and MI5 said that the Chinese government employs an extensive scale of hacking activities which results in stealing technology information from western companies and influencing policy making. It is said by the officials that China is looking for ways to protect its economy against potential sanctions.
A rare warning from top global intelligence services
It is not usual to get a warning from top global intelligence services such FBI or MI5 publicly, about another country’s espionage activities. But U.S. FBI and U.K’s MI5 had to make a joint statement, urging western tech companies to be cautious about Chinese cyber threats. FBI and its British counterpart MI5 stated together that China poses the biggest long-term threat to both the U.S. and the U.K. They warned of potential tactics used by Chinese officials who steal valuable information from technology companies. Ken McCallum, director-general of MI5 said;
« The Chinese government is set on stealing your technology, whatever it is that makes your industry tick, and using it to undercut your business and dominate your market. They’re set on using every tool at their disposal to do it. »
Both officials urged executives not to underestimate the scale and sophistication of Beijing’s campaign. According to UK and US officials, the Chinese government’s hacking program is bigger than every other major country combined. Speaking at MI5 headquarters in London, both the security services officials issued several examples of cases linked to China. The businessmen and academics were warned to be cautious and encouraged to partner with the FBI and MI5 so they can have the relevant intelligence about the Chinese threat.
On the other side, a Chinese embassy spokesperson in Washington condemned the accusations and described those as completely groundless and the move aims for China’s image with false claims.