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German spy chief warns of possible loss of key technologies after Chinese takeovers

The head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency has called for vigilance over increased moves by Chinese companies to invest in and acquire high-technology German companies. On Wednesday, Hans-Georg Maassen warned that the possible loss of key technologies could harm the German economy. He said intelligence officials had been initially puzzled by a sharp drop in Chinese “cyber espionage activities” around two years ago. They then realized that Beijing was simply using other, legal tools such as direct takeovers, to gain access to German know-how, Reuters quoted the spy chief as saying. “Industrial espionage is no longer necessary if one can simply take advantage of liberal economic regulations to buy companies and then... cannibalize them to gain access to their know-how,” Maassen told a cyber conference.