Stayed at Marriott worldwide? China’s Ministry of State Security has your profile

Checking into a Marriott operated hotel in China means your data is in Chinese Government hands. This is usually expected when it comes to travel to a closed country like China. Checking into a hotel in New York or London and your data ending up in China is definitely not expected.

Stayed at Marriott worldwide? China’s Ministry of State Security has your profile

Checking into a Marriott operated hotel in China means your data is in Chinese Government hands. This is usually expected when it comes to travel to a closed country like China.

Checking into a hotel in New York or London and your data ending up in China is definitely not expected.

This may no longer be true, after U.S. authorities are getting a clearer picture of who they believe is responsible for the massive hack of the Marriott hotel chain in recent weeks that compromised the data of more than 500 million customers.

Investigators believe hackers working on behalf of China’s main intelligence agency are responsible for a massive data breach involving the Marriott hotel chain.

According to new reports from The New York Times and The Washington Post, the hackers are suspected to be affiliated with China’s Ministry of State Security. While authorities caution their findings are still inconclusive, they say the methods of the hackers, along with a variety of clues related to the hack, tend to suggest it was state-sponsored, which is yet another headache in the already difficult relations between the US and China. Both countries, you’ll recall, are still locked in the makings of a tariff-fueled trade war, and the CFO of leading Chinese tech company Huawei has been arrested in Canada ahead of possible extradition to the US.

What is Marriott doing about it? There are big business interests for the world’s largest hotel chain to consider. Marriott operates many hotels in the Peoples Republic of China and is on an expansion course. eTurboNews alone recently published dozens of stories of major expansion into the Chinese market by Marriott.


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Author: Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.

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