Time for a New Export Control Regime

Emily Weinstein and Kevin Wolf, both fellows at Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET), held a discussion last month entitled “A New Export Control Regime for the 21st Century.” Multilateral export controls have been around for decades. But according to Weinstein, “the current system no longer meets more complex needs.” The world’s democracies, according to Weinstein, “need to rethink export controls multilaterally.” Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Under Secretary Alan Estevez shares this view, calling the creation of a new multilateral export regime one of his priorities and affirming, “We need to work with our partners on that.” What prompts this assertion? The four multilateral export regimes concentrate on controlling technologies used in conventional weapons and… Read More

8 Solutions for Mitigating the Threat of an Apple-YMTC Deal

Last week China Tech Threat and the Coalition for a Prosperous America released the report Silicon Sellout: How Apple’s Partnership with Chinese Military Chip Maker YMTC Threatens American National Security. In our first blog post, we detailed Apple’s motivations for doing business with YMTC. Our second post outlined the risks of this partnership. Policymakers inside the U.S. government have multiple options to mitigate the damage from a YMTC-Apple deal. Three of them are most important: 1) Restrict technology exports to and imports from YMTC (Best option) The best, most effective protection of national security restricts U.S. technology exports to and imports from YMTC. This requires three steps: (a) adding YMTC to the Entity List; (b) creating a Foreign Direct Product… Read More

CISA Issues New Report on Chinese Hacking 

As China conducted threatening aerial intercepts in the skies this week, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued a new report warning Chinese government-linked hackers are exploiting public and private entities to build a vast global network of compromised infrastructure. In a report about the CISA dispatch, the Washington Times’ Bill Gertz writes “Chinese hackers have been using a system of pirated networks to attack a wide variety of targets worldwide, including telecommunications companies and network service providers, since 2020.” His report points to other cyber attacks by the Chinese, like the 2015 theft of sensitive records from the White House Office of Personnel Management; the 2017 the Equifax attack, and the more recent attacks on six state government… Read More

Silicon Sellout Paper: The Five Risks of An Apple-YMTC Deal

On June 8th China Tech Threat (CTT) and the Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) released Silicon Sellout, a report detailing the dangers of Apple’s decision to source memory chips for the iPhone from Chinese state-backed chipmaker YMTC. Our first blog post recounted the reasons Apple is entering into this deal. To recap, the company is likely able to purchase YMTC’s state-subsidized chips more cheaply than it can other chipmakers’ products. It’s also possible that the Chinese government has pressured Apple to choose YMTC chips as a condition of market access – a proposition that Apple would be hard-pressed to be reject given the size of the Chinese market. Apple may reap a short-term financial reward from a deal with… Read More

Silicon Sellout Report: Why Apple is Making a Deal with Chinese Semiconductor Manufacturer YMTC

Today, the Coalition for a Prosperous America and China Tech Threat have released Silicon Sellout, a new report detailing how Apple’s decision to use chips made by Chinese semiconductor manufacturer YMTC threatens to harm Americans’ security and privacy and reshape the global semiconductor market in China’s favor.  To recap: Right now Apple has entered into an agreement with YMTC to source YMTC chips for the iPhone. This deal will have serious negative consequences for both Americans and the world: It will concentrate more chip production inside China at a time when supply chains are already vulnerable to Chinese lockdowns and government diktats. It will create major security and privacy risks to Apple users all over the world. It will increase… Read More

“Silicon Sellout” Report Set to Highlight Dangers of Apple-YMTC Deal

Next week China Tech Threat and the Coalition for a Prosperous America will release a new report detailing the dangers an impending – if not already consummated – deal between Apple, the world’s largest company, and YMTC, a Chinese state-subsidized semiconductor manufacturer with deep ties to the Chinese military. The report is one the Chinese government doesn’t want you to read.    CTT has already spent months sounding the alarm on the dangers of an Apple-YMTC agreement. If reports from March are to be believed, Apple is already shipping versions of the iPhone 14 with YMTC chips. The presence of Chinese-made chips inside the world’s most popular smartphone presents massive risks to the security and privacy of the American people.… Read More

“They Are Going to Be on the Bad Boy List” – BIS Under Secretary Alan Estevez Hints at Tough Export Control Actions

At an event promoting the launch of the Global Tech Security Commission – a project of the Atlantic Council and the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy – former State Department Under Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs Keith Krach interviewed Alan Estevez, currently the Commerce Department’s Under Secretary Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). In what he described as “my coming out party” since being confirmed as Under Secretary on March 31st, Estevez conveyed that his job really could be titled “chief technology protection officer of the United States.” While acknowledging that Russia remains a challenge, Estevez made clear that his major focus is “China, China, China.” His top long term priority is to “stop them from using our technology… Read More

Entity-Listed Hikvision Stays in the News for Complicity in Human Rights Abuses

This week the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation released an explosive new trove of documents detailing more of the Chinese government’s horrific abuses of Uyghur Muslims inside Xinjiang. The Commerce Department wisely added Hikvision, the Chinese surveillance technology giant, to the Entity List in 2019 for complicity in the Xinjiang nightmare – some of the worst crimes against humanity of the 21st century. In April, IPVM published a video entitled “Hikvision Cameras in My Concentration Camp Cell.” In it, a former concentration camp prisoner named Ovalbek Turdakun described how a Hikvision camera watched over him and 22 other prisoners held in a cramped cell, with devices even positioned over the toilet. When IPVM showed him the Hikvision logo, he instantly… Read More

4 State Policy Ideas to Counter China Tech Threats

China Tech Threat (CTT) released a memo to state policymakers offering four specific policy ideas to counter China threats at the state level. CTT has been closely tracking the state-federal tech threat disconnect, and warning that while federal agencies and the U.S. military have rightly taken action to restrict the use of tech makers with ownership ties to the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) due to the security risks they pose, those policies are not necessarily adopted at the state level. The memo cites a March 2022 AP report on at least six state governments that were hacked by the Chinese government in the last year. CTT’s own report that found 40 states continue to use Chinese… Read More

BIS Leader Previews New Civil Penalties for Export Control Violations

The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security’s (BIS) Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement, Matthew Axelrod, sounded all the right notes at a speech to the Society for International Affairs on May 16th. Recognizing that adversaries like Russia and China advance their own interests at the expense of the United States, Axelrod previewed strengthened civil penalties from BIS designed to deter American firms from violating export control laws. The proposed new penalties include: BIS publicly disclosing which companies it investigates for export control violations when a case opens, not when it is resolved, often years later Forcing companies to admit wrongdoing if they are found to have violated export control laws Increasing financial penalties for violations These ideas are welcome… Read More