Reuters reported on Thursday citing an anonymous US security official that Beijing-linked hackers attempted to steal data from US coronavirus vaccine research developer Moderna earlier this year.

The accusations of China's attempts to hack US biotech company Moderna Inc are baseless and have no evidence, China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a news briefing on Friday. Wang added that China does not need to and does not engage in technology theft.

Earlier, Moderna confirmed to Reuters that it had been in contact with the FBI and was notified of the suspected “information reconnaissance activities” of the hackers, which allegedly took place last week.

Last week, the United States charged two Chinese nationals - Li Xiaoyu and Dong Jiazhi - of being engaged in computer intrusion campaigns, including in coronavirus-related research.

According to the Department of Justice, the two men targeted high tech manufacturing and medical equipment companies, civil and industrial engineering companies, solar energy firms, pharmaceuticals and defence contractors, among others.

Earlier this week, the National Institutes of Health said that US scientists had begun a phase three trial of a potential COVID-19 vaccine, known as mRNA-1273, developed by Moderna.