The online retail sector in China is booming. Shopping portals such as Alibaba, which is the world’s biggest online marketplace, generate vast revenues via payment systems such as Alipay. The problem is that criminals are never far away from where money is being made. Alibaba, Taobao, and other shopping services are frequently targeted by hackers who use phishing mails to try to access customer data, for example. One out of every five Internet users in China has been victimized by hackers.
Cybercrime is a growing threat to China’s economy, and the government in Beijing has now taken notice. President Xi Jinping has made IT security a top priority. The first measure that’s been taken involves placing strict regulations on the use of foreign IT products in sectors critical to China’s security, such as banking. The goal here is to close off potential points of entry for hackers and foreign intelligence services and strengthen the domestic cyber industry. As a result of these measures, China’s IT security market is expected to expand rapidly, according to U.S. market research company Technavio — from $2.11 billion in 2014 to $3.62 billion in 2019, with double-digit growth each year.