American Federal Bureau of Investigation clarified that Chinese intelligence probably uses a very small minority of students as spies.
The FBI released the transcript of Christopher Wray, Director of Federal Bureau of Investigation's speech on Chinese Economy Espionage on February 2, 2020. In the speech, he said that the Chinese had pioneered a way of stealing innovation by employing a wide range of actors, such as state-owned enterprises, private companies, or some graduate students and researchers. These actors work on behalf of China, and they are used to obtain technical information illegally. They also use a wide range of methods and techniques from cyber intrusions to corrupt trusted insiders.
NPR reported that FBI officials had urged universities in the U.S to review ongoing research involving Chinese individuals that could have defense applications. The FBI also provided Universities with an unclassified list of Chinese research institutions and companies and advised Universities to monitor Chinese students and researchers associated with those entities.
NPR also reported that in March 2020, U.S. intelligence officials briefed almost 70 college administrators of the American Council on Education. The officials said that universities 'should increase oversight of Chinese researchers and avoid research funding from Chinese firms like Huawei.'