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If you thought the whole brouhaha over Chinese social media platform TikTok was a big deal, just wait until the next big controversy erupts over the blatant attempts by Chinese companies to collect biodata on Americans. Already, there has been a huge “60 Minutes” segment on how Chinese companies are potentially using COVID-19 as a pretext for collecting biodata on Americans at testing and vaccination sites. And, as more and more Americans submit their DNA to genetic testing and genealogy services, it looks like Chinese companies are trying to get involved here as well by buying up biodata available to third parties. The goal of China, quite simply, appears to be to create a master database of all biodata about U.S. citizens. What could possibly go wrong?
In the base case scenario, Chinese companies may simply be collecting all this biodata as a way of promoting and accelerating their own domestic pharmaceutical and biotech industries. The next time there is a need for a new vaccine, for example, Chinese companies would have a sizable advantage with the collection of all this biodata. According to “60 Minutes,” this is the big reason why Big Pharma companies have been so willing to pay for biodata from popular genealogy services like Ancestry – it gives them access to a veritable treasure trove of data. You might not be willing to sign over information about your DNA to a Big Pharma company, but you are certainly willing to give that same information to a company like 23andMe.
Push one step further on this scenario, and it could be the case that China is collecting Americans’ DNA in order to control the world’s biotech. It’s not enough just to promote and accelerate biotech within their own country, the real goal here is world domination. (Insert evil genius laugh here) In the same way that Chinese hackers relentlessly break into corporations in order to conduct espionage activities and steal R&D, they are now “hacking” into your DNA in order to ensure that companies closely allied with the government in Beijing are truly world-class. This might especially be the case now that the U.S. government has made a major point of the fact that we really shouldn’t be outsourcing the development and creation of medicines and vaccines to countries like China.
And here’s where things really get interesting – could it really be the case that there are more nefarious purposes at work here? Could the Chinese be preparing new bioweapons designed to target Americans? Could the Chinese be working on new surveillance and monitoring tools designed to run inside our bodies? Are the Chinese working on new biotech offerings that would create “super-soldiers” by altering the DNA of individuals? (Imagine being able to fight for days without the need for sleep) According to former top counterintelligence chiefs in the U.S., the Chinese could have any of these ideas in mind. In fact, as “60 Minutes” noted, the U.S. military is now so fearful of some new bio-threat from China that they have told all active service members not to send their DNA to genealogy services for analysis.
America needs to wake up
If even one of these scenarios is true, then America needs to wake up. We’ve already seen how the Chinese view technology as yet another way to extend the surveillance state and gain economic advantage. It was this way with 5G networking gear (think Huawei), and it was this way with social media (think TikTok). So why should it be any different with new biotechnology and DNA? It’s time to take a closer look at what biodata you might be sharing with the enemy.