Jul 6, 2022 - World

FBI, MI5 issue joint warning about Chinese espionage

MI5 Director General Ken McCallum (left) and FBI Director Christopher Wray at a joint press conference at MI5 headquarters, in central London.

MI5 director general Ken McCallum (left) and FBI director Christopher Wray at a joint press conference at MI5 headquarters in central London. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images

Domestic U.S. and British security heads warned business leaders Wednesday about Chinese government spying aimed at stealing intellectual property from Western tech companies.

Driving the news: FBI director Christopher Wray and MI5 director-general Ken McCallum appeared together at MI5 headquarters in the U.K. to warn of espionage campaigns from Beijing, the Wall Street Journal reports.

What they're saying: "The Chinese government is set on stealing your technology — whatever it is that makes your industry tick — and using it to undercut your business and dominate your market," Wray said, according to the Wall Street Journal. “They’re set on using every tool at their disposal to do it."

  • Wray and McCallum said state-sponsored hacking is carried out to gain access to technology Beijing has rendered important, and a new counterintelligence investigation into the Chinese government is opened "roughly every 12 hours."
  • McCallum said Chinese officials are operating a "coordinated campaign on a grand scale ... a strategic contest across decades," according to the transcript.

Flashback: Last December, Microsoft seized 42 websites from a Chinese hacking group carrying out attacks in 29 countries, including the U.S.

What to watch: Wray said the Chinese government is looking at sanctions imposed on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, searching for ways to "insulate their economy" against its own potential sanctions, should it invade Taiwan.

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