Information Engineering University


The Information Engineering University (IEU) is designated very high risk due to its record of training signals intelligence and political warfare officers and carrying out offensive cyber operations.

IEU was formed in June 2017, combining the old Information Engineering University with the PLA Foreign Languages University. PLA experts have described IEU as ‘the sole military academy for the cyber and electronic warfare arms of China’s network-electronic forces’. p51

The IEU is currently subordinate to the PLA Strategic Support Force’s Network Systems Department, which holds the military’s signals intelligence capabilities. Previously, the university was run by the General Staff Department Third Department (commonly known as 3PLA), the PLA’s signals intelligence service that has been incorporated into the Strategic Support Force. IEU’s command tracks include Network Engineering (网络工程), which is dedicated to the cultivation of cyber attack and defense technical cadre (网络攻防技术干部). It is responsible for the construction of the Henan Provincial Laboratory of Visible Light Communication (河南省可见光通信重点实验室).

The university is primarily known for research and training on hacking, cryptography, signals processing, surveying and mapping, and navigation technology. However, since absorbing the PLA Foreign Languages University, it now serves as one of the most important language schools for Chinese military intelligence officers, describing itself as a ‘whole-military foreign languages training base for individuals going abroad’. While the PLA Foreign Languages University is best known for training signals intelligence officers, it has also trained many officers in the PLA’s political warfare wing, the Central Military Commission Political Work Department Liaison Bureau.See, for example, the description of Huang Biaoliang in fn217 on p73

Economic espionage and misconduct

         An image of Zhang (centre) published by Bloomberg, taken from Zhang’s personal blog

Noteworthy international collaborations

  • ASPI International Cyber Policy Centre’s 2018 report ‘Picking flowers, making honey’ identified two institutions used by IEU personnel as cover when publishing or travelling abroad. Dozens of scientists claiming to be from these two institutions, the Zhengzhou Information Science and Technology Institute and the Zhengzhou Institute of Surveying and Mapping, have travelled overseas as visiting scholars or conference attendees. They have visited and worked in countries including Australia, Canada, the United States.
  • In 1992, the PLA Foreign Languages University established an Australian Studies Centre. The Centre was created with assistance from the Australia Defence Force Academy and the Australia-China Council, an Australian government body that fostered exchange with China, which gifted the PLA five hundred books and subscriptions to ten periodicals.The Australian Studies Centre of the PLA Foreign Languages University : Proceedings. Luoyang: Zhongguo ren min jie fang jun wai guo yu xue yuan Aodaliya yan jiu zhong xin, 1992. Print.
  • The US-China Education Trust, a non-profit that seeks to ‘promote US-China relations through education and exchange for next-generation leaders’, lists Luoyang Foreign Languages University as a partner university.

Last updated 13 May 2021. Unclear about any wording? Visit the terminology page.