New Delhi, July 1 -- Software and hardware developed in China often pose the threat of being used for mass surveillance, cybersecurity researchers have said, citing data breaches as well as laws that indicate the presence of mechanisms that can be activated to collect and sift through troves of user data.

One of the strongest hints came last year when Dutch cybersecurity experts discovered billions of messages of users of Chinese apps WeChat and QQ, which were stored in a manner that suggested they were part of a massive dragnet that was used to censor content on these platforms.

"Every Chinese tech company has to comply with the Chinese cybersecurity law which allows the Chinese government to have access to the data these companies colle...