NEW DELHI/CANBERRA: In a explosive data leak, around two million Chinese Communist Party (CCP) members who got secretly embedded in some of the worlds biggest companies, banks, media groups, universities and government agencies, have been exposed.
The Australian newspaper obtained the leaked database which apart from the names of around two million CCP members, has their party position, birth-date, national ID number and ethnicity.
Among the companies mentioned in the list are manufacturers such as Boeing and Volkswagen, pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer and AstraZeneca, and banks like ANZ and HSBC. As per the documents, around 600 people at HSBC, Standard Chartered banks are CCP members.
It is believed to be the first leak of its kind in the world, The Australian journalist and Sky News host Sharri Markson said. Whats amazing about this database is not just that it exposes people who are members of the Communist Party, and who are now living and working all over the world, from Australia to the US to the UK, but its amazing because it lifts the lid on how the party operates under President and Chairman Xi Jinping, she added.
Around 79,000 CCP branches have been set up inside western companies where members, if called on, are answerable directly to the Communist Party and President Xi himself, the reports said.
It is also going to embarrass some global companies who appear to have no plan in place to protect their intellectual property from theft, from economic espionage, Markson said.
The data was reportedly extracted from a server in Shanghai in 2016 by Chinese dissidents, who used it for counterintelligence purposes. It was later leaked to the international bipartisan group the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, before being sent to the international consortium of four media organisationsThe Australian, the UKs Mail on Sunday, Belgiums De Standaard and a Swedish editor.
The Australian did not name the individual members on the list, only the companies they work for.