Representative image Image credits: ANI
The German domestic intelligence agency warns consumers that the personal information they provide to the Chinese payment or other technology companies may reach the hands of the Chinese government. In the annual report released Thursday, the BfV agency noted that Chinese government agencies have access to data stored in China by companies like Tencent, Alibaba “and other applications, web services and mobility providers, such as suppliers of shared bikes”, who are actively in Germany.
BfV chief Thomas Haldenwang said the German data is not safe for Chinese companies because they are required by law to provide the data to their government. “Any customer here in Germany who uses this system should not be surprised if this data is misused in Beijing,” he told reporters. “We can only warn against that.” Germany’s top security official also expressed concern about what he called China’s “hybrid threat”, including the purchase of major German companies.
“When it comes to critical infrastructure, in power supply or now with 5G lines, we need to consider how we can protect ourselves,” said Horst Seehofer, Germany’s interior minister. Seehofer added that Germany has yet to make a “political decision” on whether Chinese telecommunications company Huawei should provide infrastructure for German mobile operators.