A map of China is seen through a magnifying glass on a computer screen showing binary digits in Singapore. Photograph:( Reuters )
Those targeted include capitalists, investors, founders and chief technology officers of the country’s promising startups and e-commerce platforms, and foreigner investors based in India.
Amid China's recent feuds with multiple nations including the ongoing border standoff with India, a media report has claimed that a database compiled by a Chinese tech company has at least 1,400 entries covering the Indian economy.
Overseas Key Individual DataBase (OKIDB), built by Zhenhua Data, reportedly has links to the country’s military and intelligence networks. People's Liberation Army and the Chinese Communist Party are some of its main clients.
Chinese online spies are aiming at the venture capitalists, angel investors, founders and chief technology officers of India’s new online ventures including payment apps, technology startups and foreigner investors based in country.
The prominent personalities that are being tracked include: T K Kurien, the Chief Investment Officer at the Premji Invest, a venture capital company set up by Azim Premji, Anish Shah, Group CFO, Mahindra Group, PK X Thomas, CTO, Reliance Brands, Brian Bade, Chief Executive, Reliance Retail; and Vineet Sekhsaria, Country Head, Morgan Stanley, Real Estate Investing.
Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal, Zomato founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal; Swiggy co-founder and CEO Nandan Reddy Nykaa co-founder and CEO Falguni Nayar; Uber India’s head of driver operations Pavan Vaish, and PayU business head Nameet Potnis are also part of the list.
The report comes when Chinese investment in Indian startups surged by over 10 times from $ 381 million in 2016 to $4.6 billion in 2019.
Zhenhua Data Information Technology Co. Limited, which is based in Shenzen, has been tasked with monitoring over 10,000 prominent citizens including top brass of the India’s Army, Judiciary, scientific establishments and news media, a report by The Indian Express has said.
According to the report the top brass of the India’s Army, Judiciary, scientific establishments and news media are on the target list.
OKIDB is monitoring a wide range of influential Indian individuals. OKIDB tracks targets without leaving any explicit footprint.
Overall, approximately 2.4 million people are included in the database, assembled mostly based on public open-source data such as social media profiles, analysts said.
The database report demonstrates that the depth and the breadth of Chinese surveillance could not be underestimated.