Belgium monitoring China's Alibaba over spying concerns

The logo of Chinese technology firm Alibaba is seen at its office in Beijing on Aug. 10, 2021.
The logo of Chinese technology firm Alibaba is seen at its office in Beijing on Aug. 10, 2021. Copyright Mark Schiefelbein/AP
Copyright Mark Schiefelbein/AP
By Euronews with Reuters
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Belgium's security service says the Chinese company's logistics arm in Liège is causing suspicion over its use of private information.


Belgium's intelligence service is monitoring the main European logistics hub of Chinese technology and e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding over concern about possible espionage, the Financial Times (FT) reports.

Referring to the company's logistics centre at the cargo airport in the city of Liège, the security service said it was working to detect "possible espionage or interference activities" by Chinese entities including Alibaba, the news outlet said on Thursday.

Alibaba denies any wrongdoing. Neither it nor the Belgian State Security Service (VSSE) immediately responded to requests for comment.

Alibaba signed an agreement with the Belgium government in 2018 to open an e-commerce trade hub, run by its logistics arm Cainiao, that would include investment in logistics infrastructure.

The FT, citing people familiar with the matter, said the Belgian security service was monitoring the company's operations "following intelligence assessments", with one area of scrutiny being the introduction of software systems that collate sensitive economic information.

The Belgian security agency told the FT the presence of Alibaba "constitutes a point of attention" for it because of legislation forcing Chinese companies to share their data with Chinese authorities and intelligence services.

Alibaba last month filed to list Cainiao on the Hong Kong stock exchange, which would make the unit the first to be separated since the Chinese e-commerce giant said this year it would restructure and split its business into six units.

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