Chinese Communist Party database leak reveals infiltration into Western companies.
An unprecedented leak reveals how alleged Chinese Communist Party members have embedded themselves inside some of the world’s biggest companies.
An unprecedented data leak has revealed how alleged Chinese Communist Party members have embedded themselves inside some of the world’s biggest companies, including defence contractors, banks and pharmaceutical giants manufacturing coronavirus vaccines.
The Australian newspaper has obtained the leaked database of almost two million CCP members – including their party position, birthdate, national ID number and ethnicity – and 79,000 branches, many of them inside companies, universities and even government agencies.
Among the companies identified as having CCP members in their employ are manufacturers like Boeing and Volkswagen, drug giants Pfizer and AstraZeneca, and financial institutions including ANZ and HSBC, according to the reports.
The membership records also show that the CCP has infiltrated the Australian, British and US consulates in Shanghai, with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade using a Chinese government agency, the Shanghai Foreign Agency Service Department, to hire local staff.
“It is believed to be the first leak of its kind in the world,” The Australian journalist and Sky News host Sharri Markson said.
“What’s amazing about this database is not just that it exposes people who are members of the Communist Party, and who are now living and working all over the world, from Australia to the US to the UK, but it’s amazing because it lifts the lid on how the party operates under President and Chairman Xi Jinping.”
Markson said CCP branches had been set up inside western companies where members, “if called on, are answerable directly to the Communist Party” and President Xi himself. “It is also going to embarrass some global companies who appear to have no plan in place to protect their intellectual property from theft, from economic espionage,” she said.
The closing meeting of the third session of the 13th National People’s Congress in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on May 28, 2020.
The data was reportedly extracted from a server in Shanghai in 2016 by Chinese dissidents, who used it for counterintelligence purposes.
It was later leaked to the international bipartisan group the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, before being provided to a consortium of media organisations – The Australian, the UK’s Mail on Sunday, Belgium’s De Standaard and a Swedish editor.
There is no evidence anyone on the list has actually spied for China, but security experts have warned employing CCP members risks sensitive information falling into the hands of Beijing’s intelligence services.
“Allowing members of the CCP to work for such companies risks their stealing technology, providing intelligence to China on forthcoming weapons systems and capabilities, or on force structures built around those capabilities,” one intelligence officer told The Australian.
“Imagine if a CCP member was allowed to work on the new Australian submarine project, and got technical data on the performance of the subs. This would give the Chinese navy a massive advantage and put Australian lives at risk.”