A congressional advisory body is urging legislators to strengthen U.S. defenses against China’s growing control of digital information related to global shipping and cargo, warning it could undermine national security and businesses, reports The Wall Street Journal.
The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, in a report to be issued before the end of September, focuses on Chinese cargo-data network Logink, which aggregates information about freight and shipping lines in China and other countries.
The commission’s concern cuts across commercial and military logistics because both use port facilities worldwide. Chinese state-controlled companies over recent years have become significant players in logistics, building on the country’s manufacturing dominance. As the world’s largest exporter, China has fostered some of the world’s biggest shipping operations, including China Cosco Shipping Corp. and China Merchants Group Ltd.
The shipping lines also control port facilities, warehouses and related infrastructure on almost every continent.
Even cargo that isn’t carried by Chinese sea-shipping companies — or data about it — can move through their warehouse or other subsidiaries, such as ground-transportation lines, or through separate systems, such as Logink. In doing so, information about the shipments can be captured by the Chinese companies’ data systems.
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