A new cartoon in Chinese urges young students in the PRC to be aware of foreign attempts to gather intelligence from ordinary Chinese people – via email entrapment. In the story, a student tells his classroom about dad’s mistake in promising photos of his munitions plant to a person abroad for money. When grandpa points out a recent case of similar nature, and the dangers involved, dad tries to back out but is immediately threatened with exposure by the online foreigner. The happy ending: leniency is shown by State Security when dad confesses and promises it won’t happen again.
“Leniency for those who confess, severity for those who resist” (坦白从宽,抗拒从严, tanbai cong kuan, kangju cong yan) is a traditional and consistent theme in Chinese Communist history, employed in every major campaign to purge society and the Communist Party of unwanted elements.
China’s anti-spy campaign that began in 2014 continues to unfold in tandem with the drive to rid society of corruption, and neither effort shows signs of slowing. Moreover, the era of relying on “connections” (关系, guanxi) to do business may be over.
Foreign businesses in the PRC must work to understand these trends and ensure that operations do not include risky business practices. Contact us for details.