Apple Again Denies Chinese Spy Chip Story, This Time to Congress

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Last week, a report from Bloomberg made some wildly egregious allegations about Apple and Amazon, claiming they were among a number of victims of a Chinese surveillance operation. Both tech companies quickly and fiercely refuted the claims in the report, and now yet another strongly-worded denial is available to read in full.


Apple wrote a letter of denial to members of Congress—which Reuters reported yesterday—and as of Monday the full letter is now online. “In light of your important leadership roles in Congress, we want to assure you that a recent report in Bloomberg Businessweek alleging the compromise of our servers is not true,” Apple’s vice president of information security George Stathakopoulos wrote in the letter. “You should know that Bloomberg provided us with no evidence to substantiate their claims and our internal investigations concluded their claims were simply wrong.”

Bloomberg’s report claimed that China’s People’s Liberation Army installed microchips the size of a grain of rice onto servers used by massive corporations in the U.S.—including both Apple and Amazon. These microchips allegedly afforded the PLA with backdoor access to whatever was on those servers. Bloomberg reported that almost 30 American businesses were victims of this act of espionage, which also included government contractors. It appears to be a historically monumental national security breach—one that Apple continues to boldly rebut.


“If any of the reported details cited above were true, we would have every interest—economic, regulatory, and ethical—to be forthcoming about it,” Stathakopoulos wrote.

You can read Apple’s letter to Congress in full here:

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Disturbingly, advance copies of the letter were available from the Chinese Embassy a day earlier.