The database built by Shenzhen Zhenhua from a variety of sources is technically complex using very advanced language, targeting, and classification tools. Shenzhen Zhenhua claims to work with, and our research supports, Chinese intelligence, military, and security agencies use the open information environment we in open liberal democracies take for granted to target individuals and institutions. Our research broadly support their claims.
The information specifically targets influential individuals and institutions across a variety of industries. From politics to organized crime or technology and academia just to name a few, the database flows from sectors the Chinese state and linked enterprises are known to target.
The breadth of data is also staggering. It compiles information on everyone from key public individuals to low level individuals in an institution to better monitor and understand how to exert influence when needed.
Compiling public and non-public personal and institutional data, Shenzhen Zhenhua has likely broken numerous laws in foreign jurisdictions. Claiming to partner with state intelligence and security services in China, Shenzhen Zhenhua operates collection centers in foreign countries that should be considered for investigation in those jurisdictions.
s that should be considered for investigation in those jurisdictions.
The personal details of millions of people around the world have been swept up in a database compiled by a Chinese tech company with reported links to the country’s military and intelligence networks, according to a trove of leaked data.
About 2.4 million people are included in the database, assembled mostly based on public open-source data such as social media profiles, analysts said. It was compiled by Zhenhua Data, based in the south-eastern Chinese city of Shenzhen.
Internet 2.0, a cybersecurity consultancy based in Canberra whose customers include the US and Australian governments, said it had been able to recover the records of about 250,000 people from the leaked dataset, including about 52,000 Americans, 35,000 Australians and nearly 10,000 Britons. They include politicians, such as prime ministers Boris Johnson and Scott Morrison and their relatives, the royal family, celebrities and military figures.
When contacted by the Guardian for comment, a representative of Zhenhua said: “The report is seriously untrue.”
“Our data are all public data on the internet. We do not collect data. This is just a data integration. Our business model and partners are our trade secrets. There is no database of 2 million people,” said the representative surnamed Sun, who identified herself as head of business.
“We are a private company,” she said, denying any links to the Chinese government or military. “Our customers are research organisations and business groups.”