Arizona’s Next Steps in Stopping PRC Infiltration

Arizona is in the process of positioning itself to become a hub chip maker. Taiwan Semiconductor TSMC announced late last year their second Phoenix factory, making a $40B investment. With its position as a chip hub, the state is taking action to bolster defenses against PRC intrusion and has banned Chinese citizens from owning property in the state. With more than 7 million spent recently on banned China-owned technology, Arizona leaders should also pass legislation to ban the purchase of China-owned technology. 

China Tech Threat recently discovered in a new report that the state of Arizona spent $7,315,675 on restricted Chinese Technology from Lenovo for agencies holding sensitive information. Our Arizona fact sheet shows the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Juvenile Corrections, the Lottery Commission, and the Board of Fingerprinting all have risks of data leaks because of the purchase of these technologies.

Technology products by Chinese government-owned manufacturer Lenovo have been banned by U.S. military and intelligence agencies due to their connection with the PRC government. This technology is such a threat because China’s 2017 National Intelligence Law obligates companies with Chinese ownership to hand over information in their possession. Any department with sensitive information is at risk of data being handed over to the Chinese government, leaking sensitive citizen information and data. 

State lawmakers can enact laws and regulations to combat state purchases of these restricted companies. As the awareness of these vulnerable purchases grows, there has been a shift at the state level to take these threats more seriously. Some states already have laws or have recently introduced laws to restrict these contracts at the state level with these Chinese-owned or operated tech manufacturers.

Specifically, Arizona’s legislators can mirror the efforts of South Dakota’s Governor Kristi Noem who signed SB 189 into law in March, Idaho’s Governor Brad Little who signed HB 294 and Arkansas’ Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders who signed HB 1789 in April, and, most recently, on May 1 Indiana’s Governor Eric Holcomb who signed SB 477. Enacting similar legislation will help Arizona safeguard its data and continue to build their protection against the PRC. CTT will continue to monitor the state’s efforts toward this goal.

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