US Charges Five Chinese Military Hackers With Industrial Espionage

Indictment Accuses Them of Stealing Secrets for Chinese Companies

The Justice Department today announced an indictment against five Chinese military personnel, who they say engaged in hacking operations against several major US corporations to steal proprietary information.

Though couched as a military operation by US officials, the allegations amount to industrial espionage, not military espionage, and centered on efforts to steal trade secrets for Chinese companies.

The Justice Department is demanding China capture the five soldiers and send them to the US for trial. China, naturally, isn’t going to do that, and is denying any knowledge of the situation.

The allegations of Chinese government personnel using government assets to carry out industrial espionage is similar to allegations the US is itself facing in the NSA scandal, with NSA personnel accused of doing the same thing to private companies in Germany and Brazil, among other nations.

The big difference is that so far the names of specific NSA people involved have never been publicized, so no charges were ever filed. China’s reaction, much like the Obama Administration’s, is to issue a blanket denial.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.