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Alibaba, the Chinese Amazon, in the Crosshairs of Belgian Intelligence For Spying Possibility

Belgian authorities are scrutinizing the activities of Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, and its subsidiary, Cainiao, within the Liege cargo airport.

The Belgian Civil Intelligence Service (VSSE) is closely examining Alibaba, specifically its presence at the Chinese e-commerce giant within a cargo airport near the city of Liege. This was reported by Reuters, which states that Belgian security is currently seeking to determine the potential risks associated with its operations on-site.

Chinese Alibaba Cainiao Liege Belgian

Belgian authorities explain that they aim to “detect and combat any potential espionage and/or interference activities carried out by Chinese entities, including Alibaba”. It must be noted that Alibaba’s establishment in the Liege airport is of significant interest, as the site serves as the company’s primary European logistics center, as stated by the British news agency.

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Chinese legislation, A Concern for Belgium (Alibaba)

The vigilance of Belgian intelligence is also attributed to the Chinese legislative framework, which is far from inconsequential. Since a law was passed in China in 2017, Chinese companies are obligated to share their data with Beijing and its intelligence services. This rule had, at least in part, justified the ostracization of Huawei in Western markets.

When contacted by the Financial Times, which was the first to follow this case, Alibaba categorically denied any wrongful conduct.

The group had established itself in Belgium after signing an agreement with the Belgian government in 2018 for the establishment of an e-commerce center, managed by its logistics subsidiary, Cainiao. This agreement also stipulated that Alibaba would invest in local logistic infrastructure.

Chinese Alibaba Cainiao Liege Belgian

More recently, at the end of September, the company announced that it had applied for Cainiao to be listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, as noted by Reuters. This move would result in a de facto separation of Cainiao from Alibaba. This would be a first among the company’s subsidiaries, often regarded as a kind of Chinese Amazon.

This application for listing may have contributed to piquing Belgian security’s interest in Cainiao’s presence in Liege.

Source: CNN

Read Also: Chinese Hackers Stole Several Thousand Emails From The US State Department

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