Documents show the Chinese government collects a lot of data from Western social media: Report

China uses part of its internal internet surveillance network to extract data from Western social media and provide information about foreign destinations to its government officials. Washington Post reports Friday.

The Post has reviewed hundreds of auction documents, contracts, and Chinese corporate filings, and Chinese public opinion analysis software — used to find politically important information online — is used to gather information about overseas by US companies like Twitter and Facebook Collect Targets.

The Washington Post reported that China is not only using existing software to collect data, but is also investing in complex projects to further its ambitions. A $320,000 Chinese state media program is building a database of foreign journalists and academics via Twitter and Facebook.

In two places where the international community has condemned China’s human rights violations, additional programs to adopt Western and foreign languages ​​have reportedly been developed in Hong Kong and Xinjiang. Swiss Post reports that these activities have been operating since the beginning of 2020.

A project called “Foreign Personnel Analysis Platform” — at a cost of $300,000 — aims to provide social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube with data on “well-known Western media journalists” and “key political, economic and staff personnel.” media circles. “

The Chinese government commented on the Washington Post report. Hill reached out to the Chinese government’s Foreign News Bureau and the Chinese Embassy in the capital for comment.

The report comes amid tension over a number of issues between the United States and China.

President Biden has announced his diplomatic boycott of next year’s Beijing Winter Olympics in protest of China’s human rights record, China’s treatment of Muslims, and its crackdown on pro-democracy efforts in Hong Kong.

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Biden imposed new sanctions on China earlier this month in retaliation for human rights abuses committed by Uighur Muslims.

Biden also signed a law banning goods from China’s Xinjiang region just before Christmas.

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