FBI DIRECTOR Christopher Wray has called China’s use of espionage and cyberattacks toward the United States “one of the largest transfers of wealth in human history.”
Wray’s comments slamming the Chinese government comes just a day after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the Trump administration may consider banning TikTok and other Chinese social media apps over national security concerns.
During an address at the Hudson Institute, Wray warned that the “stakes could not be higher” and potential harm for US businesses and the US economy “defies calculation”, CNBC reported.
Wray claimed China has recognized it needed to make technological leaps to surpass America.
“But the sad fact is that instead of engaging in the hard slog of innovation, China often steals American intellectual property and then uses it to compete against the very American companies it victimizes, in effect, cheating twice,” he added.
Wray claimed that the financial damage China has caused on the American economy is “breathtaking.”
When asked about an estimate, he said he didn’t know an exact number.
“Confronting this threat effectively does not mean we shouldn’t do business with the Chinese, does not mean we shouldn’t host Chinese visitors, it does not mean we shouldn’t welcome Chinese students or coexist with China on the world stage,” he said.
“It does mean that when China violates our criminal laws and international norms, we are not going to tolerate, much less enable.”
On Monday, Pompeo told Fox News the Trump administration will be examining the infrastructure of Chinese social media apps such as TikTok.
He said Americans should only sign up for TikTok if “you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party”.
The app, which features 15 second to one minute long skits, dances and lip syncing videos, has denied sharing data with authorities in Beijing.
The FBI and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency announced in May they were investigating targeting of American organizations through COVID-19 related research cyber actors and “non-traditional collectors” affiliated with the People’s Republic of China.
According to a statement released on May 13, hackers were caught trying to “identify and illicitly obtain valuable intellectual property” and health data related to COVID-19 research.
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