India formally raises issue of alleged snooping by Chinese company with China

A Vietnamese website is attacked by Philippine hackers, August 6, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Luu Quy. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

NEW DELHI, Sep 17, 2020, The Asian Age. The Indian government on Wednesday formally raised the issue of alleged snooping by Chinese company Zhenhua Data Information Technology with the Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong, The Asian Age reported.

“Government of India is deeply concerned with any report that suggests that foreign sources are accessing or seeking to access the personal data of our citizens without their consent. Government of India takes very seriously the protection of privacy and personal data of Indian citizens,” sources said.

As per leaked data, Zhenhua was allegedly spying on several persons globally, including Indian top leaders, judges and military commanders.

“China has said that Zhenhua is a private company and stated its position publicly,” sources said.

Chinese Foreign Ministry later in a statement denied reports of snooping, saying the firm under scanner — Shenzhen Zhenhua — instead of collecting data “only mobilizes data which is open and available online.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said: “I noticed the company’s response that the report is seriously untrue. The company said clearly that it’s a private company, and its clients are research institutions and business groups.

I would like to stress that as a staunch defender of cyber security, China opposes and fights all cyber crimes. We would like to enhance dialogue and cooperation with other countries to jointly build a peaceful, secure, open and cooperative cyber space.”

The spokesperson further said that recently, in response to prominent data security risks, China proposed the Global Initiative on Data Security to uphold data and supply chain security and advance digital economy.

“China is ready to enhance cooperation and communication with all sides, make and abide by global rules that reflect the will and respect the interests of all countries, prevent all practices that use one’s technological advantage to undermine other countries’ security, and safeguard global data security,” the Chinese spokesperson said.

Chinese company Shenzhen Zhenhua has been accused of collecting open-source data and evaluating known figures in targeted fields worldwide. Persons and organisations under its surveillance, include foreign politicians, their spouses and children, scholars, businesses and think tanks.

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