Leaked Chinese database show company’s interest in Australia’s space and science sector

Australia’s fledgling space sector is proving to be a hot target for Chinese snooping, with Beijing tracking the movement of top-secret equipment from a tracking station outside Canberra to NASA in the United States.

And Commonwealth scientists with world-leading expertise have also been targeted by a Chinese company with links to the People’s Liberation Army.

A leaked database developed by Shenzhen-based data company Zhenhua Data, obtained by the ABC as part of an international consortium of media outlets, has more than 70 records that reference CSIRO’s staff and classified operations.

One entry shows Zhenhua Data monitored the March 2019 transfer of “scientific equipment” from Canberra’s Deep Space Communication Complex at Tidbinbilla all the way across the Pacific Ocean to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

It records the name of the German-flagged container ship that took the cargo, as well as the Los Angeles-based customs company that took possession

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