“Industrial espionage is no longer necessary if one can simply take advantage of liberal economic regulations to buy companies and then disembowel them or cannibalize them to gain access to their know-how.”
Hans-Georg Maassen — Director of BfV
Hans-Georg Maassen — the head of the BfV, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution — has issued a stark warning regarding Chinese investments in the German high-tech sectors. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today
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On Wednesday (April 11 2018), Maassen warned that the loss of key technologies could harm the German economy.
Over the last two years, Chinese cyber espionage activities in Germany have dropped significantly.
In order to gain access to German know-how, Beijing no longer rely — at least not solely — on good old-fashioned espionage methods. Instead, the Chinese simply rely on perfectly legal means such as takeovers.
The German spy chief is particularly concerned about the takeover of German robotics maker ‘Kuka’ by a Chinese firm in 2016.
More recently, Chinese operator ‘State Grid Corporation of China’ tried to buy a 20 percent stake in German grid operator ’50Hertz’, while ‘Geely’ is quietly building up a 10 percent stake in Daimler.
“Certain direct investments in certain technologies can also create a domestic security risk,” Maassen said.
Last year, Chinese acquisitions of German firms have stabilised at a level of about US$ 14 billion, increasing from the $530 million in 2015. Money talks.
Germany Spy Chief : Chinese Investments Are Legal Espionage