Wirtschaftswoche Exclusive

German Intelligence Agency Warns of Chinese Espionage

The chancellery in Berlin is suspected of being targeted by Chinese spies. Source: Maurizio Gambarini / DPA

Germany’s domestic intelligence service, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, is warning of increasing Chinese espionage all the way up to the German chancellery, according to an intelligence report obtained by weekly business magazine WirtschaftsWoche, a sister publication of Handelsblatt Global.

The report states that Chinese spies are increasingly utilizing social networks such as Facebook or the business networking site Xing to recruit informants. “This is increasingly-arranged via so-called social networks and later transferred into human operations,” WirtschaftWoche quotes the intelligence service, known in German as the Verfassungsschutz, as saying.

According to the economics ministry, several other German ministries are now trying to educate their staff by means of “awareness raising campaigns.”

The government has so far failed to finalize a “no-spy” agreement with China, WirtschaftsWoche writes. There is only a non-binding declaration of intent stating both sides want to prevent “malicious cyberactivities.” Negotiations were still ongoing, the interior ministry told WirtschaftsWoche.

This article first appeared on the website of the business weekly WirtschaftsWoche. To contact the author: Christian.Ramthun@wiwo.de

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