China’s state-owned sector told to cut ties with U.S. consulting firms

by The Daily Lede

China’s state-owned sector told to cut ties with U.S. consulting firms

(Reuters) – China has told its state-owned enterprises to sever links with American consulting firms just days after the United States charged five Chinese military officers with hacking U.S. companies, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

China’s action, which targets companies like McKinsey & Company and The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), stems from fears the firms are providing trade secrets to the U.S. government, the FT reported, citing unnamed sources close to senior Chinese leaders.

Spokeswomen for McKinsey and Bain & Company did not return calls seeking comment. Spokeswomen for BCG and Strategy& (formerly Booz & Company) were not immediately able to comment.

The companies have large operations in China, the FT reported. McKinsey, BCG and Strategy& have Chinese state enterprises as clients, the newspaper said.

China warned this week it would retaliate if Washington pressed ahead with allegations the Chinese officers hacked into U.S. nuclear, metal and solar companies, including Alcoa Inc, Allegheny Technologies Inc, United States Steel Corp, Toshiba Corp unit Westinghouse Electric Co., the U.S. subsidiaries of SolarWorld AG and a steelworkers’ union.