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The Promise and Perils of Operating in China

Despite security concerns, China's cloud services industry is growing. If your data or service must reside in China, you should be aware of the risks and plan accordingly.

This paper addresses the data privacy concerns organizations face as they conduct business with the second largest economy in the world. Intralinks explores regulatory issues and provides advice best practices for keeping information secure.

In 2009, The Coca-Cola Company was in heated negotiations to acquire the China Huiyuan Juice Group. The deal, worth a reported $2.4 billion, would have been China’s biggest foreign takeover to date. At the same time, an extraordinary group of hackers was rooting around in Coca-Cola’s computer systems, digging for data about the company’s global strategy. The group, known as the “Comment Crew,” operates out of a nondescript building in Shanghai as a part of Unit 61398 of the People’s Liberation Army. A few days later, China’s Ministry of Commerce rejected the proposed acquisition, maintaining its protectionist stance over domestic corporations. While a direct link between the attacks and the failed deal has never been conclusively made, and Coca-Cola has revealed little publicly, the unusual confluence of events should raise an alarm for organizations wishing to do business in China while maintaining the security of their data.