Summarizing CSIS on Getting Traction with BIS Export Controls: Short Term Panic Followed by Predictable Patterns

On Friday, new names emerged as potential nominees for the Undersecretary position in the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) – or as the New York Times put it, “The Agency at the Center of America’s Tech Fight With China.” While we await an official announcement, Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) Senior Adviser and Scholl Chair in International Business William Alan Reinsch weighed in on the position at BIS. “I think the most important criterion is to find someone who can listen to the different points of view and produce regulations that will stand up in court and provide reasonable certainty to the business community,” he noted. “Policy decisions about China are going to be… Read More

States Must Be Vigilant the American Rescue Plan Doesn’t Open the Door to CCP Exploitation

This month President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion pandemic recovery package that was among the President’s top priorities upon taking office. The bill includes $350 billion that will go directly to state and local governments, much of which will be invested in information technology and system upgrades. Bundled in the plan is $7.59 billion to provide devices and Internet services to teachers and students; $2 billion to improve unemployment networks; $128.5 billion for local schools, including to build remote learning capabilities; $39.6 billion for higher education, part of which will support remote learning; and $20 billion to modernize state-based marketplaces, like insurance exchanges.    Each of those areas present a valuable target to the Chinese government,… Read More

What to Expect, the Next Four Years

Earlier this week, China Tech Threat’s Roslyn Layton and Coalition for a Prosperous America’s (CPA) Jeff Ferry put out a new report on “Maintaining U.S. Leadership in Semiconductors and Countering China’s Threats.” They discussed it yesterday as part of CPA’s annual conference on “What to Expect, the Next Four Years.” In framing the discussion and summarizing the paper, Roslyn noted: American consumers were once told that Chinese IT was a good thing. That approach created many problems, including loss of manufacturing prowess and personal information, as well as increased cyberattacks and data breaches. Now we have a national security issue, and it’s playing out in many areas, including the semiconductor industry. Semiconductors are the building blocks of all electronics. They… Read More

#StopAsianHate

There has been a troubling wave of violence against Asian people – mostly recently with the mass shooting in Atlanta. Disturbingly, Newsweek reports that “Researchers at the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University found a 149 percent increase in such crimes compared to 2019.” We condemn this violence in the strongest possible terms. In stark contrast, our mission is to safeguard all people by shedding light on the increasing threat of technology imported into the US and other democratic nations from the People’s Republic of China. After all, there is broad bipartisan agreement among leaders in democratic countries that the PRC’s military-civil fusion threatens free people everywhere. More specifically, the Communist Party’s stranglehold on… Read More

Georgia’s State Spending is at the center of the US-China Tech Conflict

Last week, The Washington Post reported that President Biden’s second big bill may be a China package to to counter China’s rising global power and proposes funding aimed at bolstering U.S. manufacturing and supply chains, among other measures. As China Tech Threat digs deeper into the ways in which China’s malign actions harm U.S. consumers, we support this effort.  We are still seeing one of the largest threats come from state governments continuing to purchase U.S. military-restricted equipment. This includes buying products from Lenovo, a Chinese-owned company that has been restricted by multiple military and intelligence agencies in the U.S. and around the globe because of security deficiencies. Through a FOIA request, we found that Georgia has spent over $1… Read More

BIS, Allies Must Coordinate on Export Controls to Keep Advanced Tech from Renegade Actors

Stephen Ezell is the Vice President for Global Innovation Policy at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), and he is a leading observer of international semiconductor policy. His new report, Moore’s Law Under Attack: The Impact of China’s Policies on Global Semiconductor Innovation, describes how China’s state-directed strategy to vault into a leadership position in the semiconductor industry distorts the global market with massive subsidization, IP theft, state-financed foreign firm acquisitions, and other mercantilist practices. China’s inferior innovators thus have a leg up—and the global semiconductor innovation curve is bending downward. Ezell estimates there would be 5,100 more U.S. patents in the industry annually if not for China’s innovation mercantilist policies. To address the challenge Chinese innovation mercantilism poses… Read More

Exclusive Interview: Potential Commerce Under Secretary Nominee Analyzes Vital Bureau

China has a clear mission to achieve global military supremacy and is prepared to build, buy, siphon, or steal the latest and greatest tech to get there. When we’re dealing with China, it’s not business as usual, and we need to be vigilant to make sure sensitive technologies in particular are directed to their intended uses and don’t fall into rogue military hands. As the U.S. looks at policy levers to protect our leadership and interests, a little known bureau within the Department of Commerce called the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is on the front lines for strategic trade control. In recent weeks, the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times have speculated about who will lead the 450-person… Read More

William Galston in the WSJ: U.S. Should Step Up the Tech Fight against China

The United States should step up domestic investment in its semiconductor industry and strengthen export controls to stop the People’s Republic of China from acquiring semiconductor manufacturing equipment, columnist William Galston writes in the Wall Street Journal this week. Galston applauds the Trump Administration’s joint efforts with the Netherlands to “block the sale of Dutch-made semiconductor manufacturing equipment to China’s largest chip maker.” It is “good news,” he adds, that the Biden administration intends to “continue such efforts and also work with allies to maintain the West’s technological edge in areas that will be crucial to defense as well as the economy.” The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the Biden administration is working with allies to stay ahead… Read More

Kansas State Spending is Harming Kansans Far and Wide

This week China Tech Threat is set to launch our new report: High Tech Heist: Chinese Government IT Vendors And The Threat To U.S. Banks. Through this report we show that, despite major investment by US banks in cybersecurity and significant federal policy efforts, attacks on US banks are increasing frequency, severity, and sophistication. In order to address these issues we must look within the US to see where our weaknesses lie. As we have previously notated, one of the largest threats comes from state governments continuing to purchase U.S. military-restricted equipment. This includes buying products from Lenovo, a Chinese-owned company that has been restricted by multiple military and intelligence agencies in the U.S. and around the globe because of… Read More

Preview: China Tech Threat Report Urges Banks to Avoid Chinese Government IT to Defend Against State-Sponsored Cyber-Attacks

Cyber-attacks against financial organizations are growing in frequency and severity and U.S. banks are the most targeted, an upcoming White Paper by Dr. Roslyn Layton finds. A complex thicket of government agencies and regulation has been largely ineffective in curbing cyber threats. In 2015, U.S. financial services were targeted about four times more than other industries. By 2019, financial firms experienced about 300 times more cyber-attacks than other companies. “U.S. banks and financial service providers cannot rely solely on the government to combat state-sponsored cyber-security threats,” the report notes. “Policy analyses must face the stark reality that cyber-attacks are growing faster and larger than the execution of government actions to address them.” Instead, financial services companies should proactively work to… Read More