Operation Cloud Sword: China Fights Cybercrime

The Chinese State will in future pursue cybercrime and theft of trade secrets via the Internet in cooperation with other countries. To this end, the Ministry of Public Security launched an operation called Cloud Sword in July 2019, which focuses on international cooperation in the fight against transnational cybercrime.

The new programme is showing first results. In December 2019, the Nepalese police arrested 122 Chinese citizens suspected of being involved in transnational cyber fraud. This case involved not only the Chinese but also the police in Nigeria. As early as October 2019, Mongolian law enforcement authorities apprehended 790 Chinese citizens suspected of telecom network fraud in four hotels in Ulaanbaatar, while at the same time confiscating almost 1,000 computers, thousands of mobile phones and other equipment. 759 suspects were sent back to China. In Europe, the Chinese Ministry of Public Security, in cooperation with the Spanish police, detained 229 Chinese people suspected of telecommunications fraud and had them returned to China.

The international prosecution of trade secret theft by cyber-espionage is also high on the ministry’s agenda. The rampant cross-border data flows in globalised supply chains and the rapid development of computer technology mean that the number of criminal attacks on international IT networks is constantly increasing. The attackers are not only targeting technical data, but also business lists of customers and suppliers. The programme shows that China is also decoupling itself in law enforcement and is going its own way alongside Interpol.


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