Beijing curtailed access by overseas firms to Chinese data sources at least in part because of a series of reports written by US research institutions that alarmed officials, the Wall Street Journal disclosed, citing people with knowledge of the matter, Sarah Zheng reported for Bloomberg.
Photo Insert: The reports emanated from sources such as the Center for Security and Emerging Technology at Georgetown University.
Senior officials grew concerned about research by US think tanks based on public sources that focused on issues such as collaboration between the military and private organizations.
Those reports emanated from sources such as the Center for Security and Emerging Technology at Georgetown University and the Center for a New American Security, which was co-founded by Kurt Campbell, now the White House’s Indo-Pacific coordinator.
China has clamped down on foreign firms that gather information on businesses. Beijing targeted the offices of Bain & Co., Mintz Group, and Capvision. Just last month, China passed a counter-espionage law that expanded the list of activities that could be considered spying.
Beijing is moving to tighten its grip on data as tensions with Washington mount. Despite the push to encourage investment in China this year, investors grapple with a lack of transparency and information.
Worse, China itself has ordered all Party groups in corporate offices to follow Beijing’s instructions, thus blurring the distinction between privately-owned corporations and state firms and transforming business executives into Beijing’s agents.
Think tanks, research houses, and consultancies seeking information on China have long relied on domestic sources. But Chinese services such as Wind Information Co. have stopped providing detailed data on the nation’s companies to overseas clients.