(CTN News) – In an effort to ensure private Alibaba information is not being misused, the Belgian security service has been investigating the logistics arm of a Chinese company based in Liège.
The Financial Times reports that Belgium’s intelligence service is keeping a close eye on the main European logistics hub of Chinese technology and e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding over concerns about possible espionage.
On Thursday, the security service said it was working to detect “possible espionage or interference activities” by Chinese entities including Alibaba that may be taking place at the logistics center at the cargo airport in the city of Liège. The service has previously said it was looking into the matter.
Alibaba denies any wrongdoing on its part. It has not yet responded to requests for comment, nor has the Belgian State Security Service (VSSE), both of which have been contacted.
The Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba signed an agreement with the Belgian government in 2018 to open a trade hub for e-commerce, run by its logistics arm Cainiao, as well as investing in logistics infrastructure.
According to the Financial Times, citing people familiar with the matter, the Belgian security service has been monitoring the company’s operations as part of its intelligence assessment, with one key area of scrutiny being the introduction of software systems that gather sensitive economic data.
A spokesperson for the Belgian security agency told the Financial Times that Alibaba’s presence in the country “constitutes a point of attention” due to the legislation that forces Chinese companies to share their data with the Chinese authorities and intelligence agencies.
Last month, Alibaba filed for the listing of Cainiao on the Hong Kong stock exchange, making it the first unit of the Chinese e-commerce giant to be separated since it announced this year that it would reorganize and split its businesses into six parts.