Airbnb allegedly hosts Xinjiang rentals on land owned by sanctioned group

Airbnb has reportedly listed more than a dozen properties on land owned by the Xinjiang paramilitary corporation, which has been sanctioned by the US over its alleged involvement in mass human rights abuses against Uyghurs by the Chinese government. The American media outlet Axios reported on Wednesday that the short-term rental company was at risk of exposure to US regulations preventing business dealings with sanctioned entities. Airbnb, which is a major sponsor of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, said it was not required to vet the “underlying landowner” of properties…

UK spy chief suggests Beijing risks ‘miscalculation’ over west’s resolve

China is at risk of “miscalculating through over-confidence” over Taiwan, said the MI6 head, Richard Moore, in a statement clearly intended to warn Beijing to back off any attempt to seize control of the island. Giving a rare speech, Britain’s foreign intelligence chief said in London that China was at risk of “believing its own propaganda” and that the country had become “the single greatest priority” for MI6 for the first time in its history. Moore did not mention Taiwan explicitly, but the status of the country, whose independence is…

Chinese province targets journalists and students in planned surveillance system

Security officials in one of China’s largest provinces have commissioned a surveillance system they say they want to use to track journalists and international students among other “suspicious people”, documents reviewed by Reuters showed. A 29 July tender document published on the Henan provincial government’s procurement website details plans for a system that can compile individual files on such persons of interest coming to Henan using 3,000 facial recognition cameras that connect to various national and regional databases. A 5m yuan ($782,000) contract was awarded on 17 September to the…

India to ban private cryptocurrencies and launch official digital currency

The Indian government is preparing to ban private cryptocurrencies and allow the country’s central bank to launch an official digital currency. The proposed legislation follows a crackdown on cryptocurrencies in China, where financial regulators and the central bank have made all digital currency transactions illegal. The Indian proposals were flagged in a parliamentary bulletin listing upcoming legislation which included one paragraph on “The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021”. The accompanying description of the bill appeared to leave some room for using cryptocurrencies, however. “To create a…

US bans China Telecom over national security concerns

The US communications regulator has voted to revoke China Telecom’s licence in America over national security concerns in the latest pushback by Washington against what it deems possible infiltration of key networks by Chinese companies. The decision by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) means China Telecom Americas must now discontinue US services within 60 days. China Telecom, the largest Chinese telecommunications company, has had authorisation to provide telecommunications services for nearly 20 years in the United States. The FCC found that China Telecom “is subject to exploitation, influence, and…

At least 13 phone firms hit by suspected Chinese hackers since 2019, say experts

At least 13 phone companies around the world have been compromised since 2019 by sophisticated hackers who are believed to come from China, a cybersecurity expert group has said. The roaming hackers – known as LightBasin – were able to “search and find” individual mobile phones and “target accordingly”, according to CrowdStrike, a group regularly cited by western intelligence. Hackers were also able to obtain personal subscriber information held by phone companies and metadata showing who made and received calls. “Sophisticated signals intelligence activity” aimed at phone company networks has…

US ‘very concerned’ despite China denials over hypersonic missile

The United States is “very concerned” about China’s development of hypersonic technology, the US disarmament ambassador, Robert Wood, has said, after reports that Beijing had recently launched a hypersonic missile with a nuclear capacity. “We are very concerned by what China has been doing on the hypersonic front,” Robert Wood told reporters in Geneva. The Financial Times reported on Saturday that Beijing had launched a nuclear-capable missile in August that circled the Earth at low orbit before narrowly missing its target. Citing multiple sources, the FT claimed the hypersonic missile…

China’s propaganda firehose is going after the BBC

chinas propaganda firehose is going after the bbc

Chinese trolls and fake news websites have been attacking the BBC in a bid to undermine its credibility, new research published today claims. The online influence operation, which is being linked to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), is seemingly a response to the BBC’s reporting on human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims and state-backed misinformation campaigns. The new research from analysts at cybersecurity company Recorded Future claims that the “likely state-sponsored” operation used hundreds of websites and social media accounts to attack the BBC’s reporting. In particular the network has…