Chinese firm monitoring over 10,000 influential Indians, including PM, President

Report claims data firm linked to Chinese govt snooping on over 10,000 Indian VIPs

Report claims data firm linked to Chinese govt snooping on over 10,000 Indian VIPs

The list of figures in the United Kingdom that were swept up in the Chinese dragnet includes Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nick Carter, and members of the Royal Family, including Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, and the Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex, Prince William and Kate Middleton.

The list was allegedly created by a Shenzhen-based company called China Revival, also known as Shenzhen Zhenhua, and was leaked to an American researcher, Christopher Balding, by a source connected to the company. Chris published the information overnight and shared it with a consortium of media outlets in the States, Canada, the U.K., Australia, and more.

The database was published overnight after it was leaked to a USA academic, and it shows 2.4 million people around the world have been targeted - including 35,000 Australians.

Another section within the database includes hundreds of thousands of posts on social media that have key-words referencing the military and British politics, in order to craft a complex understanding of the political and security landscape in the United Kingdom.

The Chinese firm behind the compilation of files, Zhenhua Data, is understood to have links to China's intelligence service, the Ministry of State Security.

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Zhenhua has the People's Liberation Army and the Chinese Communist Party as its main clients.

Conservative MP and frequent critic of the regime in Beijing, Bob Seely - who was also listed in the database - said: "China does not build databases on us, legally or not, for benign reasons or to know when to send birthday cards". Some targets were also marked as "important" or being of "special interest", but how the people were ranked and why they were targeted is still uncertain.

But as much as 20 per cent of the information listed in the database was not easy to find through public sources, the researchers warned, and may have come from unauthorised access.

Chris Balding, who obtained the data, said it's well-known that the Chinese government collects the personal data of its own citizens, but this Zhenhua leak proves they are attempting the same thing on a global scale. It has been monitoring individuals and organizations cut across varied fields including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and many top political leaders besides bureaucrats in key positions, judges, scientists, academicians, journalists, religious figures, activists and even some include crime accused, the report said.

In the ongoing standoff between the two nations at the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the monitoring of the personalities seems prominent which can be termed as "hybrid warfare" using non-military tools to attain dominance, subvert, influence or damage.

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