September 12, 2022 • 6 Minute Read
The Road Leads to OSINT on China
China has been the target of numerous intelligence operations throughout history. From the Opium Wars to today, China has been a major player in global politics and economics. This makes it one of the most important countries to monitor and analyze.
However, since China is such a large and diverse country, it can be difficult to conduct effective operations. Therefore, in order to accomplish this task, we must be able to conduct OSINT on China.
OSINT on China is made up of experts from different intelligence communities, including HUMINT (human intelligence), SIGINT(signals intelligence), CYBINT(cyber-based intelligence) and TECHINT (technology-based).
We collect and produce reliable products in China; our staff is made up of native Mandarin speakers, giving us a deep understanding of the language — and culture.
Although we have this unique advantage, rapid changes in the intelligence environment — in how information is collected, processed or analyzed — have occurred over the past two decades.
Therefore, OSINT has become a vital tool of ours and is used to generate solid products for our customers.
What Hurdles is OSINT on China Helping to Overcome?
While we heavily depend on OSINT to meet the challenges and gaps between the collected information and product, our experience of working in China makes us experts in this field.
The Chinese Cyber Environment
The Chinese cyber environment is a closed, protected system that uses the Great Firewall to control access. The wall itself is intelligent in nature and continuously evolving; it prevents you from visiting major government or news outlet websites using a VPN.
In China, the wall is constantly watching your online behavior. Inside that ecosystem are social media like Weibo (Twitter) and ride-sharing apps such as DiDi and Meituan, Taobao or JingDong — the Chinese version of Amazon.
There is no Google Maps, but you can use Baidu Map to find directions without a street view. You will still have to look at Soguo instead of using Google's website for better results.
The Language Barrier
The written form of Chinese — which we in the West call Mandarin — uses logograms. So if, for instance, you want to search “Baidu” instead of “google” on their search engine, then you have to precisely know how to use each character and type it exactly right.
Though China uses an alphabet for spelling, Mandarin has 3 to 5 tones depending on each syllable. This makes native speakers sound very different from non-native ones and is confusing for learners trying to locate characters by their pronunciation.
Even native Chinese speakers have to tell others how they spell and pronounce their names.
For example, if one wants to search for military facilities in remote areas and does not know Mandarin well enough, one might need help finding the names of these places because they are usually named after Han Chinese. A good example would be Korla (in Xinjiang), a major city that is named by its original Uyghur name, which means “Happy Valley.”
Lack of Public Records
Although the Chinese government has become more transparent in recent years and now puts lots of documents online — government contracts and court records among them — you still don't read it wrong.
There are some limitations, though. For example, the quality and quantity of information gathered from OSINT sources in China do not meet Western standards for conducting investigations.
Chinese ship-tracking applications such as AIS — show the location of a vessel by using radio signals or satellite transmission to connect with its transponder. Still, compared to western countries, the quantity and quality will not meet the same standard.
The company owns those ships, but they do not mention that fact on their website. Furthermore, they would also note to passengers during booking if the route being taken by those particular ships is temporary or of short duration.
For military units above regiment level, the PLA uses a 5-digit numerical code in every public record. The only way to get these codes is by looking at either your database (which should update regularly) or local newspapers and websites — and putting the puzzles together from there.
OSINT on China's Approach
We’ve spent years developing our expertise in OSINT investigations, whether through experience, databases or our network inside China.
In this way, OSINT on China's mission is simple: to spread the gospel of open-source intelligence by sharing our knowledge and expertise with others.
The two answers are simple: First, we no longer have any ties to government establishments. Second, and most importantly — China is clearly a growing threat not only in its neighboring countries but also to the region and even the world under Xi Jinping’s rule.
We hope that by helping your organization and others around the world, we will be able to deal with some of China's challenges.
How OSINT on China Functions
We have been in the business for many years, so we know how to conduct ourselves ethically. Nevertheless, we choose not to disclose our identities because (1) doing so would put us and our families at risk, and (2) it would also jeopardize you, your organization — and maybe even society as a whole.
Though security, anonymity and privacy are separate disciplines, we strive to meet these three goals by ensuring anonymous communication while simultaneously creating the best-secured protocol.
We take privacy seriously. If we don’t need your contact information, or to know who you are, then there is no reason for us to ask. We will respect your wishes and protect the confidentiality of any information that you share with our company.
We are committed to providing a secure and anonymous communication experience. We will do everything in our power to ensure that the data you provide to us, including your contact information, is kept completely confidential.
The Bottom Line
Our team is dedicated to providing the best possible experience for our customers. We are committed to maintaining an excellent track record of customer support and technical support, as well as providing a secure, anonymous communication experience.
Join us and avoid the hassles of dealing with your counterparts. The first-hand secret sauce is here waiting for you!