China harvests masses of data on Western targets, documents show

The exact scope of China’s government public opinion monitoring industry is unclear, but there have been some indications about its size in Chinese state media. In 2014, the state-backed newspaper China Daily said more than 2 million people were working as public opinion analysts. In 2018, the People’s Daily, another official organ, said the government’s online opinion analysis industry was worth “tens of billions of yuan,” equivalent to billions of dollars, and was growing at a rate of 50 percent a year.

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