Saturday, May 25th, 2024

Not just TikTok, China using many global apps, games to monitor internet users: Report

Voice of America, citing an Australian study, reported that in addition to TikTok, China uses several other social media platforms, including online games, to monitor internet users globally.

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute, a research organization that receives funding from the Australian government and overseas, said in a May 2 report that “Beijing’s propaganda campaign is targeting Chinese tech companies to collect personal data from a wide range of major social media apps.” “Are building relationships with.” or platforms and popular online games.”

These include ride-sharing app DiDi, action game Genshin Impact and popular online marketplace Temu.

“China is working to expand its influence abroad to reshape the global information ecosystem… to strengthen its grip on power, legitimize its activities,” the report said. And China’s cultural, technological, economic and military influence can be increased.

However, there has been no response yet from the Chinese authorities. According to VOA, Beijing has previously accused the Australian government of “anti-China hysteria” over various geopolitical and trade disputes.

Samantha Hoffman, lead author of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute report, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation this week that data obtained from apps, platforms and games could be valuable to China.

“It could be data on the way users make decisions. [With] Temu, it could be preferences that indicate the likes and dislikes of particular demographics,” she said. “If China is trying to shape the way that the world sees and understands truth and reality, this data will help make those efforts more successful over time.”

The report urges policymakers to “develop stronger defenses and countermeasures to protect against future information campaigns conducted by Beijing.”

It also claims that there has been too much focus on Chinese-owned platform TikTok because of concerns that user data collected by it could be shared with Chinese authorities. However, it warns that the problem “runs deeper than just TikTok.”

TikTok’s Chinese owner, ByteDance, has said it will challenge in court in the United States “unconstitutional” legislation making its way through Congress that could require it to sell or ban the platform in that country. As reported by VOA. ,

ByteDance has denied collusion with the Chinese government.

Marina Zhang, associate professor at the Australia-China Relations Institute at the University of Technology Sydney, told VOA she thinks the Strategic Policy Institute’s report is exaggerated.

,[The] The Chinese propaganda machine is huge, but to link all social media apps [to] “This publicity machine has gone on a bit too long,” he said.

Zhang said he believed technological cooperation, not confrontation, was in China’s best interests.

“If separation is going to happen and if such reports come [are] That’s what’s going to happen, China will be isolated from the rest of the world,” Zhang said. “Therefore, we do not want to see a complete technological separation between China and the West, not only in terms of applications but ultimately in terms of technological infrastructure. “This won’t be good for anyone.”

Last year, Australia said it would ban TikTok on government devices, including cell phones, due to security and surveillance concerns.

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