"Compared to traditional intelligence analysis, competing intelligence has characteristics such as hostility, timeliness and of a commercial nature. On a specific operational level, the speed with which we obtain information, and how soon the impact of the intelligence we provide can be realized are key to making intelligence valuable and effective. The Internet, which is based on electronic databases and modern communications networks, serves just that purpose of fast delivery and intelligence utilization. This nature of the Internet has made it inevitable that it would be used by competing intelligence to obtain, deliver and process information. The Internet is the collective entity of all the world's computer networks, also known as 'the network of all networks.' The America's largest 500 companies are the biggest users of the Internet. Many medium- and small-sized enterprises have also joined the Internet to become its users. The commercialization of the Internet indicates that it will soon become an important means of trade. The popularization and commercialization of the Internet have made it possible for intelligence agencies to use the Internet to collect information related to commercial and trade activities, to conduct analysis on competing intelligence, to fully utilize the rich resources and technological advantages brought out by the Internet and transfer these rich resources and technological advantages into advantageous positions for our enterprises to compete."
Chinese Defense Science and Technology Information Monthly (1998), v.122 no.6