China Security Threats

Data and information about security threats from China’s black market. Intelligence and security data collected from government agencies, news articles and other public information sources.

The academic journal Science reported that scientists in China pay between $1,500 to $24,850 to have their names listed as authors in academic papers.

One such paper that offered authorship for sale included a study on Alzheimer that was published in a legitimate Canadian journal.

The black market in authorship has around 27 Chinese companies that offer editing and research services. According to Science, the companies offer slots on papers written by legitimate scientists, plagiarize a separate paper, or create fake data and write a completely new paper.

Previously, the Economist magazine reported that fake research and academic papers industry in China generated $150 Million a year.

(Prices to buy a fake diploma online.)

Source:  Margaret Munro, “China’s academic ‘black market’ fooled Canadian journal, report says,” Province, November 28, 2013.

According to a news report in Tampa, Florida, the profit margin for selling a single counterfeit lipstick from popular makeup company MAC could be as high as $10.

The investigative news team for ABC Action News in Tampa bought a MAC lipstick off of eBay for $13. According to MAC employees, the lipstick was fake. The legitimate version sells for $15 in MAC retail stores.

When the reporters contacted the counterfeit lipstick seller on eBay, she directed them to the name of a website from China where she bought her inventory. On that website, the price to purchase the lipstick from China was less than one dollar.

Source:  Adam Walser, “Counterfeit MAC makeup prevalent in Bay area,” ABC Action News, November 21, 2013.

Between 2001 and 2011, Chinese fishing boats caught an estimated 3.1 million tonnes of fish off the coast of Africa. 80 percent of the catch was unreported and fell under the illegal fishing framework.

The catch from Africa makes up most of the 4.6 million tons of fish that were caught by Chinese vessels between the time period. During the ten year span, the value of the fish was worth $12 Billion.

In addition to Africa, boats from China are active in the waters off South Korea. 4,605 cases of illegal fishing by Chinese boats have been recorded by South Korean security services between 2003 and 2013.

Source:  Christina Larson. “China’s Illegal Fishing Expeditions Threaten World Waters,” Bloomberg Businessweek, November 19, 2013.


The Vietnam Tobacco Association states that over 100 different brands of cigarettes are smuggled into Vietnam each year. The brands Jet and Hero are the most popular, with the two brands consisting of over 90 percent of the smuggled tobacco in the country.

Roughly 20 percent of the country’s tobacco market is smuggled cigarettes. Most of the black market tobacco are smuggled into the country from China, Laos, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Source:  “Vietnam Prepares For Rise In Cigarette Smuggling As New Year Festival Looms,” Bernama, November 13, 2013

According to figures released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 227 million methamphetamine pills were seized across East and Southeast Asia in 2012. The number of pills seized was a 59 percent increase from the 142 million seized in 2011.

(See all facts about meth.)

Back in 2007, criminal justice programs seized 25 million pills across East and Southeast Asia.

102.2 million meth pills in 2012 were seized in China, followed by Thailand with 95.3 million meth pills seized, and Myanmar had 18.2 million pills seized.

(Price of Meth by country.)

Source:  Associated Press, “UN Says Asia Meth Seizures Hit Highs in 2012,” ABC News, November 8, 2013.

In China, around 40 million people believe the ages of 20 to 40 have been diagnosed as having fertility problems. Health experts are attributing problems with men’s sperm to severe environmental pollution in China. According to the doctor of Shanghai’s main sperm bank, sperm grows abnormally and stops swimming when pollution is too severe.

In a 10 year study of male infertility in China, two-thirds of the semen  at a sperm bank failed to meet the World Health Organization’s standards on healthy sperm count levels.

In addition to a lack of healthy sperm, there is a shortage of willing donors to sperm banks.

Due to the shortage, women are turning to the black market in order to obtain sperm. According to press reports, woman are willing to pay up to $4,900 (30,000 Yuan) for sperm.

(More human organ trafficking statistics.)

Source:  Gwynn Guilford, “Pollution has damaged Chinese sperm so much that a black-market shot costs up to $4,900,” Quartz, November 7, 2013.

Capsules filled with the remains of dead human fetuses are being smuggled into South Korea from China, according to the Korea Customs Service. The pills are advertised as a stamina enhancement drug and are in high demand despite public health programs explaining that the pills are filled with bacteria and could cause serious health problems when taken.

The first reports of these human flesh pills were reported in South Korea in August 2011. From August 2011 to August 2012, security officials stopped 94 smuggling attempts that were attempting to bring in pills from China. Nearly 43,600 human flesh pills were seized in those incidents.

In the first eight months of 2013, the Korea Customs Service seized capsules in 25 smuggling attempts.

Smugglers attempt to avoid Customs by smuggling the pills in Chinese tourists luggage, in mobile phones, and are even using the postal service. One case in June involved the pills being mailed from the United States.

Source:  Yonhap, “Smuggling of human flesh pills continues despite intensified crackdown: data,” Global Post, October 28, 2013.

Crime statistics obtained from the Hong Kong Police Force show that the number of incidents linked to the organized crime syndicates known as the Triads have increased in recent years.

Between 2010 to 2012, the number of incidents in Hong Kong lined to the Triads increased by nearly 15 percent.

In the first half of 2013, there were 988 triad-related crimes reported in Hong Kong.

Source:  Ramy Inocencio, “Transformers versus the triads of Hong Kong: the sequel,” CNN, October 25, 2013.

A campaign to lower the consumption of shark fins in China appears to be achieving results. According to wildlife protection groups, the consumption of shark fin soup in China was down 50 to 70 percent in 2013 when compared to two years before.

Previously, up to 70 million sharks were killed each year in order to meet the demand for shark fin soup in China. Sharks would be captured and have its fins cut off while the rest of the body was thrown back into the water. The fins would be used in soup and sold at an expensive price at wedding receptions and banquets in order to display a person’s social status.

There were several factors that lead to the lower demand.  First was a public awareness campaign  that featured former NBA star Yao Ming that aimed to educate the public. A survey conducted in 2005-2006 found that 80 percent of respondents did not know that “fish wing” soup was actually shark fins.

In addition to awareness, steps taken by the Chinese government to stop ordering the soup at official banquets lead to lower demand.

Industry groups in Hong Kong state that imports of shark fins have declined by 20 to 30 percent, while the Commerce Ministry reported that consumption of shark fin soup was down 70 percent during the 2013 Spring Break Holiday from the year before. Traders in Beijing Marketplaces have been forced to lower their prices in order to move inventory. A half-kilo of dried shark fin currently sells for $110, down from the previous $165.

(Prices of the illegal wildlife trade.)

In high-end restaurants in Beijing, a bowl of shark fin soup sells for $60 to $325. Some hotels and restaurants no longer offer the soup.

Source:  Washington Post, “Wildlife victory: shark fin falls from favor in China,” Japan Times, October 20, 2013.

Reports from various criminal justice departments in the United Kingdom showed that there were a total of 371 children who fell victim to  human trafficking in 2012. The number of children officially registered as victims was 50 percent higher than the 234 children identified in 2011.

In 2012, the largest number of children trafficked into the UK was from Vietnam, where 95 children were from. 67 children were from Nigeria and 25 were from China. 20 British girls were also identified.

For adults, there were 786 women identified as human trafficking victims in 2012, an increase of 12 percent from the year before. 400 men were trafficking victims, an increase of nearly a third.

(Prices paid for human trafficking victims.)

Source:  Steven Swinford, “Girl smuggled into Britain to have her ‘organs harvested’,” Telegraph, October 18, 2013.