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Chinese security agencies target Australian companies to steal commercial secrets

China’s peak security agency has directed a series of cyber attacks on Australian companies over the past 12 months, targeting a number of businesses, including the defence industry.

As reported in today’s Age, the actions breach an agreement struck between Premier Li Keqiang and former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull to not steal each other’s commercial secrets.

Investigative reporter Nick McKenzie told Ross and John the agencies are after ways to get Chinese businesses an edge over Australian companies.

“They’re after our commercial secrets, research and development, negotiating strategies, all the things that our big companies pour money into hoping to get a commercial edge,” Nick said.

“This can be of great use to their competitors in China, to get an edge in certain economies, including the defense industries.

“This is one way to get an edge, but of course a highly illegal way to do so.”

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“It must be said though, Australia spies on China, China spies on Australia,” he added.

“We’re pinching their state secrets, they’re pinching ours, but we’re not stealing their industrial, their business secrets, that’s the big difference here.”

Photo: AAP (Former PM Malcolm Turnbull meets with China’s Premier of State Council Li Keqiang during the Association of South East Asian Nations in 2017)

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