Chinese and Russian industrial spying widespread in Germany

Chinese and Russian industrial spying widespread in Germany
A scene from a bad German TV movie. Photo: DPA
Chinese, Russian and Iranian spies have tried to steal industrial secrets from half of all major German firms, a state security official told Financial Times Deutschland on Friday.

“Every second German company has been affected, studies show,” with the loss of information valued at between €15 billion and €50 billion ($23 billion and $78 billion) a year, said Hartwig Möller, head of North Rhine-Westphalia’s intelligence agency.

“Together with the Chinese it is first and foremost Russian and Iranian intelligence agencies that are active in Germany,” Möller told the FTD.

According to a report from the BfV federal domestic intelligence service released on Thursday, foreign intelligence agencies even use students and trainees to steal sensitive information on new products and research projects.

“We have information on Chinese students and those on scholarships trying to grab any research results they can get their hands on,” Möller said.