Chinese tech firm compiles database on tens of thousands of British figures

- THE TELEGRAPH - Sep 13, 2020 -

By Tony Diver and Robert Mendick, CHIEF REPORTER

A profile of Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, is among those currently stored on a Chinese server CREDIT: Toby Melville/Reuters

Files on senior politicians and their families among those stored as part of worldwide intelligence collection operation

A Chinese technology company has compiled a database on tens of thousands of British figures and their children and families for the use of the country's intelligence agencies, The Telegraph can reveal.

Files on senior UK politicians – including Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister – royals, religious leaders, military officers and their families are currently stored on a Chinese server as part of a massive worldwide intelligence collection operation by a private company that describes its mission as "the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation".

The data includes names, dates of birth, educational history, professional biographies, criminal convictions, social media accounts and other information scraped from the internet by computer software. Information about British businesspeople and academics, and the movements of UK and US naval ships, is also up for sale.

Millions of people in the United States, Canada, India and Japan are named in the files, alongside an estimated 40,000 Britons.

Zhenhua Data (see panel below), the company that created the files, claims to provide "services for military, security and foreign propaganda" and "human-oriented threat intelligence services", and to have sold its database to security clients in China.


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