Taiwan Central News Agency carried an article that Le Figaro, the French daily newspaper, had originally published. The article reported that, in recent years, Chinese intelligence agents have widely used professional social websites to explore secrets and to penetrate into the administrative departments, power circles, and large companies in France. Such actions have generated a major threat to national sovereignty for France and put French economic assets at risk.
In the exclusive report that Le Figaro published, it stated that the French Directorate-General for External Security and the Directorate-General for Internal Security have gathered enough evidence to conclude that Chinese intelligence agents have used fake identities and created accounts on business and social websites such as LinkedIn or the Viadeo Group to contact at least 4,000 managers in French government agencies or their employees or some strategic corporate partners. There are about 500 such accounts on LinkedIn. A total of 200,000 Chinese intelligence agents who the Ministry of State Security manages are involved in this project. The online profiles of these Chinese agents show that they often appear to be young, funny, talented, hold a degree from a top university in China, carry a fancy title and work for companies that have over one thousand followers on social media. These agents generally start with warm greetings and complements to their target and extend an invitation for them to come to China for business seminars. Once the agents gather enough evidence such as private photos and financial transaction records, they then use these as a bargaining chip to force the target to work for the Ministry of State Security.
Other than using the online social media to look for their targets, Le Figaro reported that these Chinese spies also find Chinese students or visiting scholars in France to steal or make copies of their research secrets.
Source: Central News Agency, October 23, 2018