FBI Director Christopher Wray warned of ongoing Chinese counterintelligence threats to U.S. companies and health care groups, saying Chinese espionage cases had increased by 1,300 percent over the past decade, The Hill reports. Wray said at the Hudson Institute, “The stakes could not be higher, and the potential economic harm to American businesses and the economy as a whole almost defies calculation.” He said the threats were so widespread that all of the FBI’s field offices were working on cases around Chinese espionage and that the FBI opened a new Chinese counterintelligence investigation “about every 10 hours.”
“Of the nearly 5,000 active FBI counterintelligence cases … about half are all related to China,” Wray said. “At this very moment, China is working to compromise American health care organizations, pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions conducting essential COVID-19 research.” He cited massive Chinese hacking incidents over the past few years, including the 2017 breach of credit agency Equifax that exposed the personal information of around 145 million Americans and the 2015 data breach of health company Anthem that affected 78 million people. Chinese theft is “so massive that it represents one of the largest transfers of wealth in human history,” Wray said. “If you are an American adult, it is more likely than not that China has stolen your personal information.” Wray said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Attorney General William Barr will also address Chinese counterintelligence threats in the coming weeks.