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China expands sweeping spy law, raises risks for US companies, journalists

Apr 28, 2023

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Foreign companies, journalists and academics in China are being warned that the Chinese Communist Party is tightening its already sweeping counter-espionage law which could put individuals and businesses at legal risk. Changes to the CCP’s espionage law come at a time China and the U.S. are at odds over a spectrum of issues, worrying some in the U.S. that China could retaliate against Americans in their country.

The changes expand the definition of espionage from covering state secrets and intelligence to any “documents, data, materials or items related to national security and interests.” The changes do not specify parameters for how these terms are defined.

China and the U.S. are tightening their own national security as skepticism between the two major powers escalate. U.S. consulting firm Bain & Company in Shanghai has already had Chinese police show up to its offices unannounced. Police confiscated phones and computers but no one was detained.

In March, U.S. due diligence firm Mintz Group said Chinese police had arrested five of its local employees and shut down its Beijing office. Chinese authorities said the company was being investigated for “illegal” activities.

A few days later, China’s top cybersecurity regulator said it was investigating U.S. computer chip maker Micron Technology and would review its products over national security concerns. These are a few high profile instances among a campaign of raids and investigations into American companies.

The tightening of China’s espionage law and recent raids against American companies have created concern that American business may not be welcomed in China.

China could be retaliating after Washington announced sanctions against five major Chinese firms making it nearly impossible for them to trade with U.S. firms. This is just the latest rift between the world’s top economies and competitors at odds.

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{ANCHOR}
[KARAH NAME SUPER]
FOREIGN COMPANIES, JOURNALISTS, AND ACADEMICS IN CHINA ARE BEING WARNED THE CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY IS TIGHTENING IT’S ALREADY SWEEPING COUNTER-ESPIONAGE LAW.
[L3: CHINA MOVES TO TIGHTEN ESPIONAGE LAW]
WHICH COULD PUT THOSE OVERSEAS AT LEGAL RISK DEPENDING ON HOW FAR CHINESE OFFICIALS WANT TO GO.
{CHINA ESPIONAGE CONCERNS VO}
[L3: CONCERNS RAISED FOR AMERICANS, BUSINESSES IN CHINA]
THE CHANGES TO THEIR ESPIONAGE LAW COMES AT A TIME CHINA AND THE U.S. ARE AT ODDS OVER A SPECTRUM OF ISSUES.
WORRYING SOME IN THE U.S. THAT CHINA COULD RETALIATE AGAINST AMERICANS IN THEIR COUNTRY.
THE CHANGES WILL **EXPAND THE DEFINITION OF ESPIONAGE TO INCLUDE A RANGE OF BROAD AND UNSPECIFIC PARAMETERS.
{ANCHOR}
[L3: CHINA, U.S. TIGHTEN NATIONAL SECURITY]
THE CHANGES COME AS CHINA AND THE U.S. BOTH ARE TIGHTENING THEIR OWN NATIONAL SECURITY IN SKEPTICISM OF ONE ANOTHER.
{CHINA ESPIONAGE CONCERNS VO 2}
A U.S. CONSULTING FIRM “BAIN AND COMPANY” IN SHANGHAI HAS ALREADY HAD CHINESE POLICE SHOW UP TO THEIR OFFICES UNANNOUNCED –
[L3: CHINA’S CAMPAIGN OF RAIDS, INVESTIGATIONS]
CONFISCATING PHONES AND COMPUTERS BUT NO ONE WAS DETAINED.
U.S. COMPUTER CHIP MAKER MICRON TECHNOLOGY IS ALSO UNDER A CHINESE INVESTIGATION OVER QUOTE “NATIONAL SECURITY CONCERNS.”
THESE ARE TWO HIGH PROFILE INSTANCES AMONG A CAMPAIGN OF RAIDS AND INVESTIGATIONS INTO AMERICAN COMPANIES.
{ANCHOR}
[L3: RETALIATION AGAINST U.S. SANCTIONS ON CHINESE FIRMS]
IT’S CREATING CONCERN THAT AMERICAN BUSINESS MAY NOT BE AS WELCOME IN CHINA.
CHINA COULD BE RETALIATING AFTER WASHINGTON ANNOUNCED SANCTIONS AGAINST FIVE MAJOR CHINESE FIRMS — MAKING IT NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR THEM TO TRADE WITH U.S. FIRMS.
THIS BEING JUST THE LATEST RIFT BETWEEN THE WORLD’S TOP ECONOMIES AND COMPETITORS.

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