二十五年前，我和一些刚刚毕业的加国大学同学们获得了在加拿大的第一份工作 ，即来自加国最富盛名的科技公司北方电讯的工作聘书。对于我们这些逃离了镇压学生运动的天安门事件的新移民来说，这份聘书意义非同反响。我们将其视作加国梦的重大转折点，移民征程的重要里程碑。它标志着我们独立生活的开始，意味着我们摆脱了专制政府的恐怖镇压和统治，成功地踏上了加国的民主自由之路 。但是，沉浸在胜利的喜悦中的我们却过分天真，对自由之路上的暗礁浑然不知，也对来自那个势力不断增长并将逐渐将其铁拳伸向海外的专制政权的威胁毫无心理准备。
Twenty-five years ago, I and some recent graduates from a Canadian university received our first job offer in Canada from Nortel Networks, at the time, one of the world's most prestigious companies. For us newcomers who fled a government that killed thousands of students in Tiananmen Square, the opportunity to work in such a leading tech company was a life-changing event and a dream come true. We saw it as a milestone on our immigrant journey searching for freedom and starting a new life free from a violent government and its reign of terror. Yet, as we were overcome with joy and excitement, we were oblivious to the regime's growing power threatening to tear our dreams apart, as the Chinese government gradually extended its control and grip overseas.
Nortel was a Canadian flagship company at the time, an iconic world leader in IT and digital innovations, and the heart of Silicon Valley of the North. At its peak, Nortel was a leading mobile wireless technology provider and the dominant fiber optics supplier transmitting voice, video, and images at lightning speed. Nortel claimed the bragging rights as the ninth most valuable company globally, representing over 35 percent of the TSX 300 index value. Working at Nortel was a remarkable experience. Apart from a sense of prestige, financial security and a promising career, it offered us a sense of belonging by embracing cultural inclusiveness and, more importantly, the political freedom that I, a former Chinese state firm employee, desired but never enjoyed in China.
However, we found that the joy of freedom and the pride of independence was short-lived and quickly ruined by a dark reality. In 2009, Nortel claimed its bankruptcy, announcing its tragic defeat amidst the dotcom bubble. The tech giant's sudden collapse saw it joining a wave of the iconic Canadian brands defeated by a global rival – including the Smartphone pioneer Blackberry. Early investigations into the cause of Nortel’s demise pinned the blame on accounting scandals, corporate mismanagement, and the loss of the clients' confidence. But it didn’t become public until years later that the repeated hacks and cyber-attacks from foreign forces brought the company down. More shockingly, the insidious infiltrations against Nortel involved the CCP and China.
Since the mid-1990s, Nortel had been on the wane, compromised by stealing and corporate espionage. Human spies and criminal gangsters have hacked against Nortel for decades, stealing its corporate intelligence and the valuable IP core to its development and growth. The massive hacking escalated to the point where listening devices got planted at its corporate headquarters in Ottawa, and hundreds of sensitive documents downloaded under Nortel executives' nose.
The state sponsored attacks had reportedly led the CCP to gain complete control of Nortel's internal system. The Chinese military was also allegedly part of the hacking onslaught, with hundred PLA hackers tasked by CCP's most elite leaders working day and night to steal Nortel's R&D.
Huawei denied it’s the primary beneficiary of the spying activities and cybercrimes against Nortel. However, CSIC agents and security experts say its decades of spectacular growth was much more than coincident. Since the early 2000s, Huawei started a contract winning spree by repeatedly underbidding its rival Nortel -- including beating the Canadian company on its home turf. The crumbling Nortel watched hopelessly as the Chinese rival devoured up most of its market share, and as its achievements through decades of blood, sweats, and tears disappeared altogether. Nortel claimed its bankruptcy in 2009, marking its tragic demise that wiped out hundreds of thousands of jobs and tens of billions of pensions and retirement savings.
For us newcomers, ending our Nortel career revealed a disturbing reality that we feared the most. The freedom we thought we had achieved thousands of miles away was a big lie. We never did break away from the tight grip of the authority we had tried to run away from. We escaped a violent crackdown by our home country's government, only to suffer a significant career setback in the county where we sought refuge -- caused by the same regime's meddling and cyber attacks. As COVID 19 pandemic sweeps through the world, a saddened and grim feeling of forever succumbing to CCP's influence has gripped us –more resonant than ever.
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