Eric Schmidt Says China Is The World’s Most ‘Prolific And Sophisticated Hacker’

  • The New Digital Age
  • Out in April
  • Co-author Jared Cohen

Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt has hailed the Chinese as an “online menace” and says that the country is the world's most “prolific and sophisticated hacker” of foreign companies.

  • The New Digital Age
  • Out in April
  • Co-author Jared Cohen

Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt has hailed the Chinese as an “online menace” and says that the country is the world's most “prolific and sophisticated hacker” of foreign companies.

Schmidt labelled the nation in his new book and also accused it of taking an immoral path of "digital corporate espionage" en route to greater prosperity. China is "the world's most active and enthusiastic filterer of information" wrote Schmidt and co-author Jared Cohen, a former US State Department employee, who now runs the Google Ideas think-tank.

According to reports, just this week, both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal claimed they had fallen victim to hacks from China, believed to be seeking information on the papers' coverage of the country.

In The New Digital Age, Schmidt and Cohen also warned of the dangers of state-backed Chinese tech companies spreading their influence in the West. "Where Huawei gains market share, the influence and reach of China grow as well," the book said.

The authors said this puts other nations at a disadvantage, because the likes of Apple, Microsoft and Google are not as ingrained with their government as their equivalents in China. He also called on Washington to align itself more closely with America's major tech companies.

"The disparity between American and Chinese firms and their tactics will put both the government and the companies of the United States as a distinct disadvantage,” Schmidt and Cohen wrote. "The United States will not take the same path of digital corporate espionage, as its laws are much stricter (and better enforced) and because illicit competition violates the American sense of fair play."

The New Digital Age will be out in April.

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