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Spy agencies entice Chinese students

Updated: 2014-05-09 07:18
( China Daily)

Some Chinese college students are facing the lure and danger of being recruited by foreign intelligence agencies for espionage purposes, Chinese media has reported.

One unidentified overseas intelligence agency has launched dozens of cyber instigation attempts on Chinese college students, about 30 cases of which were cracked down on by China's national security authorities in more than 10 provincial regions, according to a latest report by the Global Times.

An increasing number of cases have been discovered on campuses since 2012, an anonymous source familiar with the subject was quoted as saying.

"These agencies are getting increasingly unscrupulous," the source said. "Even minors are targeted as instigation objects."

Unlike traditional instigation plots, which usually involve a complex mixture of money, sex and power, the cyber instigation tactics aimed at students mainly attract the inexperienced with quick and easy pay, then control them using greed and fear, the report said.

For example, in December 2012, Song Fei (not his real name), a grad from a top university in Zhejiang province, was contacted by an intelligence agency under the disguise of a market research company as he was hunting for jobs online.

At first, the agency asked Song to simply collect and write reports of the central government's policies for foreign ventures in China.

The payment was generous and immediate, ranging from 2,000 yuan ($320) to 50,000 yuan. But if Song had broken the contract, the agency would have threatened to expose their previous illegal deals to Chinese security authorities, the report said.

Song was then required to network with people in the government and official think tanks to get inside information, while the agency sponsored him with all the necessary costs.

In January 2013, when Song was trying to apply for a civil servant position, the agency gave him 3,000 yuan a month in addition to clear instructions on what job to choose. Song preferred to work for local bureaus, but the agency told him to apply for key posts in provincial agencies, think tanks and research institutions, which have access to sensitive information, said the report.

The trap Song encountered, according to security authorities, is a typical trick of overseas intelligence agencies.

- China Daily