At least 72 cloud data servers operated by Chinese tech and ecommerce giant Alibaba in India are sending Indian users data to China, according to a News18 report citing top intelligence sources. The sources have also accused the tech giant of “stealing” data.
The officials have claimed that they have found 72 such servers sending data to China. They also allege that the operation seemed like a systematic plan by Chinese authorities.
Alibaba’s cloud data servers are popular in India among business owners due to its moderate pricing, especially when compared to European servers. Officials from the intelligence department also noted that Alibaba offers free trial usage periods to the organisation as well in order to trap them in. Once they are in the system, the data servers ensure that all sensitive and ancillary forms of data are relayed over to remote servers located in China.
The officials aware of the development also noted that India is planning to launch a “massive probe” in China’s intended cyber espionage soon.
Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba, had launched in India back in 2018 from Mumbai. In India, Alibaba Cloud provides products and services to clients in India across the ecommerce, gaming, media, retail and IoT sectors through an extensive network of distributors.
In December 2019, it had also entered a distribution partnership with cloud distributor ZNet Technologies.The partnership helped expand Alibaba Cloud’s products and solutions to ZNet businesses and channel partners, and empower them with innovative and reliable technologies for success in a digital era.
The development comes after an investigation by Indian Express brought to light China’s cyber tactics to launch a “hybrid warfare” against India, under which it is also keeping tabs on 10,000 prominent personalities, companies and more. Taking note of this report, the Indian government has also set up an expert committee under the National Cyber Security Coordinator to study the matter.
Few names in the list include Prime Minister Narendra Modi, officials from the PM office, prominent leaders of the opposition, and more. Besides these, the list also includes Indian startups, unicorns and businesses like Zomato, Swiggy and Paytm. Taking note of this report, the Indian government has also set up an expert committee under the National Cyber Security Coordinator to study the matter.