China snooping on top Indian politicians, defence chiefs and news media editors: Reports

WION Web Team NEW DELHI Sep 14, 2020, 01.01 PM(IST) Edited By: Nikhil Pandey

Image for representation. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

China has also spied on WION and Zee News' Editor in Chief Sudhir Chaudhary. Notably, Zee News started a 'Made in India' campaign against Chinese goods and consistently reported against China's incursion on LAC.

Amid China's recent feuds with multiple nations including the ongoing border standoff with India, a media report has claimed that a technology firm with links to the Chinese government is snooping on over 10,000 Indian individuals and organisations through global database.

Also read | Rattled by Zee group’s coverage, China puts spies on Editor-in-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary: Report

Zhenhua Data Information Technology Co. Limited, which is based in Shenzen, has been tasked with monitoring over 10,000 prominent citizens including President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, among others, a report by The Indian Express has said.

The technology company is said to have links to Chinese military and intelligence networks, has People's Liberation Army and the Chinese Communist Party as some of its main clients.

According to investigative report published in the Indian Express, the company’s ‘Overseas Key Information Database (OKIDB)’, is monitoring a wide range of influential Indian individuals.OKIDB tracks targets without leaving any explicit footprint.

According to the report the top brass of the India’s Army, Judiciary, scientific establishments and news media are on the target list.

Chinese Communist Party, which has been rattled by the Zee group’s coverage of the Wuhan virus and Ladakh border standoff, targeted Zee & WION’s Editor-in-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary through its unholy nexus of cyber espionage.

The Chinese govt is using big data to extract info on Indian targets from the Meta data of Zhenhua's log files that were part of its Overseas Key Information Database (OKIDB).

The list of OKIDB includes names of President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi. Not only top but middle and regional level position holders of Indian politics are also being tracked by the company. Chief Ministers Mamata Banerjee, Ashok Gehlot and Amarinder Singh, Uddhav Thackeray, Naveen Patnaik and Shivraj Singh Chouhan are also on the list.

However, there is no reaction on the report by the government or any official source.  

In its report the Indian Express said it had sent queries regarding the matter to the Shenzhen firm, but they went unanswered. The company has now taken its website down and its page is not accessible anymore.

The database report demonstrates that the depth and the breadth of Chinese surveillance could not be underestimated.

(With inputs from agencies)