China state media calls for ‘severe punishment’ for Google, Apple and U.S. tech firms

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Beijing: Chinese state media lashed out at Google Inc., Apple Inc. and other U.S. technology companies, calling on Beijing “to punish severely the pawns” of the U.S. government for monitoring China and stealing secrets.

U.S. companies such as Yahoo Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., Microsoft Corp and Facebook Inc. threaten the cyber-security of China and its Internet users, said the People’s Daily on its microblog, in comments echoed on the front page of the English-language China Daily.

It is not clear what sparked this latest round of vitriol, nor what information the U.S. firms are alleged to have stolen. But Chinese media have repeatedly attacked American tech companies for aiding the U.S. government’s cyber espionage since U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden revealed widespread spying programs including PRISM.

Under PRISM, the NSA seized data from companies such as Google and Apple, according to revelations made by Snowden a year ago.