China maintains a secret watch list of 700 Americans, including government employees and R&B artist Ashanti

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According to a cybersecurity group, the Chinese government is keeping a secret watch list of 700 Americans, including government employees, CEOs and R&B artist Ashanti, after they passed through the Shanghai airport.

A bombshell database leaked to Australian cybersecurity consultancy Internet 2.0 and was obtained by the New York Post reveals that China collected the names, dates of birth and passport numbers of 697 US citizens between 2018 and 2020.

The data was collected as the individuals traveled through an immigration checkpoint at Pudong International Airport, the Post reported.

It was then stored on servers of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau, which reports to Beijing’s centralized Ministry of Public Security – China’s main police and law enforcement authority.

Among the targeted Americans were children as young as nine, a U.S. Department of State employee at the Bureau of International Organization Affairs, and executives such as Apple and Pfizer.

In total, the database contains information on more than 5,000 foreigners who have traveled through Shanghai since 2017.

Intelligence services in both the UK and Australia have launched an investigation after it emerged last week that hundreds of citizens from both countries were on the watch list.

Airport security personnel check the information of incoming passengers at Shanghai Pudong International Airport.  According to a cybersecurity group, the Chinese government is keeping a secret watch list of 700 Americans after they passed through the airport.

Airport security personnel check information of incoming passengers at Shanghai Pudong International Airport. According to a cybersecurity group, the Chinese government is keeping a secret watch list of 700 Americans after they passed through the airport.

The database includes details on Grammy-winning singer Ashanti (pictured), government employees and CEOs

The database contains details on Grammy-winning singer Ashanti (pictured), government employees and CEOs

The database contains details on Grammy-winning singer Ashanti (pictured), government employees and CEOs

The database contains details about Grammy-winning singer Ashanti Shequoiya Douglas, including her name, date of birth and that she traveled via Pudong International Airport in August 2018, according to the Post.

It also includes researchers and professors at US universities, including a senior associate at New York University Shanghai.

US executives from leading technology companies, including Apple and Microsoft, as well as healthcare companies such as GE Healthcare and Pfizer – who are behind one of the COVID-19 vaccines – are also on the list.

The list also includes a Merrill Lynch exec, documentary mother of two who divides her time between California and South Korea, students, tourists, and a few kids over the age of nine.

It is not clear why the data was collected or whether the individuals on the list were flagged or randomly selected for a specific reason.

Internet 2.0 CEOs Robert Potter and David Robertson told the Post that the spreadsheet shows “how China is building its surveillance state with technology and how it uses data as a means of control.”

The data is stored on servers of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau, which reports to Beijing's centralized Ministry of Public Security - China's main police and law enforcement authority.  Proposed a Shanghai Public Security Bureau building

The data is stored on servers of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau, which reports to Beijing's centralized Ministry of Public Security, China's main police and law enforcement authority.  Proposed a Shanghai Public Security Bureau building

The data is stored on servers of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau, which reports to Beijing’s centralized Ministry of Public Security – China’s main police and law enforcement authority. Proposed a Shanghai Public Security Bureau building

“This system gives us insight into China’s ambitions to muster what it can, to enforce its will within its jurisdiction, and to violate the standards of privacy and accountability,” they said.

The news that US citizens had been put on the watch list comes a week after it emerged that China had collected data from British and Australian citizens.

A report from the British newspaper The Telegraph revealed that about 150 Britons were on the Chinese watch list, including businessmen, doctors and teachers.

Data in the database includes Margaret Johnson OBE, head of an advertising agency with an office in Shanghai, an army officer and two Virgin Atlantic pilots.

The information seen by the newspaper related to British visitors who passed the airport in a six-month period in 2018.

It also includes researchers and professors at American universities, including a senior associate at New York University Shanghai (photo)

It also includes researchers and professors at American universities, including a senior associate at New York University Shanghai (photo)

It also includes researchers and professors at American universities, including a senior associate at New York University Shanghai (photo)

MI5 is investigating the files, which emerged amid mounting tensions between the UK and China over human rights violations by the Uyghur minority group.

The list also includes 7,600 Uyghur Muslims in Shanghai, whom China has labeled as ‘terrorists’ on the list, the Telegraph reported.

A total of 161 Australian citizens are also on the list, including a former intelligence chief, according to a report by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation last week.

Margaret Johnson OBE, head of an advertising agency with an office in Shanghai, is also on the list of British

Margaret Johnson OBE, head of an advertising agency with an office in Shanghai, is also on the list of British

Margaret Johnson OBE, head of an advertising agency with an office in Shanghai, is also on the list of British

Geoff Miller, a former director general of the Office of National Assessments and ambassador to Korea and Japan, was given a flag when he traveled to Shanghai with his wife in September 2018, the outlet reported.

The data has been provided to Australian security officials, who are now investigating.

It is not clear whether the US authorities received the data or whether an investigation has been initiated.

DailyMail.com has contacted the United States Department of State and the CIA for comment.

It comes as the Biden administration suggested that the US is considering boycotting the Beijing Olympics due to the massive incarceration of Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim people.

Human rights groups believe that at least one million Uyghurs and other minorities are held in camps in the northwestern region of Xinjiang.

Nor is it clear who the other thousands of people are on the Chinese watch list.

Internet 2.0 first obtained the database at the end of last year, contained in a wealth of 1.1 million records from an insecure server within the Shanghai Public Security Bureau.

MI5 investigates the files (photo the head office in London) after it turned out that there were also about 150 Britons on the watch list

MI5 investigates the files (photo the head office in London) after it turned out that there were also about 150 Britons on the watch list

MI5 investigates the files (photo the head office in London) after it turned out that there were also about 150 Britons on the watch list