FCC Votes Unanimously to Revoke China Telecom License

Today the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted unanimously to revoke the license of China Telecom to provide domestic interstate and international telecommunications services within the United States.  The order is based in part on the April 2020 recommendation of the Department of Justice and related Executive Branch agencies (collectively “Team Telecom”) and reflects a specific  proceeding launched in December 2020 in which the FCC asked China Telecom to address its concerns. While China Telecom is one of the world’s largest telecom providers, its ability to operate in the US is a privilege, not a right, which it lost for failing to honor its license commitments and for presenting unacceptable national security risk to Americans. The action demonstrates that the FCC… Read More

WSJ: House Republicans Tell Commerce Dept. to Get Tougher on China

According to an article published today in the Wall Street Journal, Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee are continuing to apply pressure to the Commerce Department to fortify export controls. In a letter led by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) and a group of top Republicans called for the “strengthening of export controls on semiconductors.” Signers included all other members of the China Task Force, Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY), Andy Barr (R-KY), Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Michael Waltz (R-FL), Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), Darin LaHood (R-IL), Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA), Chris Stewart (R-UT), Robert J. Wittman (R-VA), Scott Perry (R-PA), Neal Dunn (R-FL), Mark Green (R-TN), Mike Garcia (R-CA), Austin Scott (R-GA), Diana Harshbarger (R-TN) and Young Kim (R-CA). This follows a move this month by Republican… Read More

CTT Panel: U.S. Policymakers Should Focus on “Chokepoint Technologies”

During China Tech Threat’s “Unacceptable Risk: Expanding the FCC’s Covered List to Reflect Reality” forum Tuesday, participants roundly supported expanding the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) “Covered List.” Panelists Colin Andrews (Telecommunications Industry Association – TIA), Jordan Brunner (national security attorney), Martijn Rasser (Center for New American Security – CNAS), and Emily Weinstein (Georgetown Center for Security and Emerging Technology – CSET) applauded Commissioner Brendan Carr’s call for the FCC to add Chinese drone maker DJI to the Covered List. Mr. Rasser called it a “very encouraging step” and, Mr. Brunner encouraged policymakers to not stop there. There is a “very strong case” that YMTC, a top chipmaker in China with military ties, ought to be added as well, Mr. Rasser… Read More

FCC Commissioner: DJI is “Huawei on Wings”

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will commence a process to add SZ DJI Technology Company (DJI), the world’s largest drone maker, to the agency’s “Covered List” of restricted equipment producers, Commissioner Brendan Carr announced during a roundtable forum hosted yesterday by China Tech Threat. “DJI is ‘Huawei on wings,’” Commissioner Carr stated. “Most people don’t understand the vast amounts of information being collected by drones.” DJI controls about a 50 percent share of the U.S. drone market and 70 percent of the global consumer and enterprise drone market. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) can leverage vulnerabilities in drone equipment to collect sensitive information on U.S. infrastructure, law enforcement and national security targets. The devices can employ facial recognition technology… Read More

China Tech Threat Lauds FCC Calls to Expand “Unacceptable Risk” Threat List

Commissioner Carr calls for agency to add drone maker DJI to Covered List China Tech Threat Co-Founder Dr. Roslyn Layton today lauded Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Brendan Carr’s announcement that SZ DJI Technology Co., Ltd. or Shenzhen DJI Sciences and Technologies Ltd. (“DJI”) should be added to the FCC’s “Covered List” of restricted equipment providers. The 2019 Secure and Trusted Networks Act describes the process for entities to be identified and added to the list because of the unacceptable risk they pose to national security. Commissioner Carr made the announcement during China Tech Threat’s event today addressing the need to expand the Covered List. “We applaud Commissioner Carr’s leadership to bolster our national security by making DJI the next focus on the… Read More

China Tech Threat Files Reply Comment on FCC Secure Equipment Proceeding

FCC expands Covered List entities and proposes to revoke future equipment authorizations China Tech Threat filed reply comments with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on its secure equipment proceeding and responded to other petitioners’ comments. Below are 4 key points from the filing.  A full copy of the comments is linked here. Selling electronic equipment in the US is a privilege, not a right. Some IT companies have opposed the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on grounds that the proposed regulation would disrupt revenue and enterprise. However, equipment authorization is a privilege, not a right, for entities which uphold the laws of the US. The opening paragraph of the Communications Act of 1934 notes its express purpose for the… Read More

NJ, ME, TN Continue to Dodge FOIA Requests

In 2019, China Tech Threat released a report on the failure of states to scrutinize the purchase of products and services from risky Chinese information technology vendors Lenovo and Lexmark which have been banned from U.S. military and intelligence networks for their connections with the Chinese government and military.  The alarming fact is, despite being banned at the federal level, many states unwittingly still have purchase contracts with these dangerous companies. At the state level, these types of attacks have been used to access sensitive personal and financial information held by various government agencies. To assess the threat level in the states and raise awareness, China Tech Threat conducted an extensive research project based on Freedom Of Information (FOIA) requests… Read More

5 Key Takeaways from President Biden’s Export Administrator Nominee

This week the Senate Banking Committee advanced Thea Kendler, President Biden’s nominee to serve as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration, for a full Senate confirmation vote later this fall. If confirmed, Ms. Kendler will help shape export control policy, a frontline defense against the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC’s) weaponization of U.S. technologies. Here are five key takeaways from Ms. Kendler’s responses to lawmakers’ Questions for the Record. The PRC’s technological, military and economic rise poses “one of the greatest” threats to U.S. national security.Asked if she agreed, Ms. Kendler wrote, “Yes.” The PRC’s “diversion of dual-use technologies to military uses; theft of intellectual property; human rights abuses; and anti-competitive, unfair and coercive trade practices… threaten our national… Read More

BIS Nominee “Deeply Concerned” about China’s Military-Civil Fusion Threat

By a voice vote on Tuesday, the Senate Banking Committee endorsed Alan Estevez and Thea Kendler to serve as Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security (BIS) and as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration, respectively. The vote advances President Biden’s nominees—who, if confirmed, will play pivotal roles in shaping U.S. export control policy—for consideration by the full Senate this fall. In response to prepared Questions for the Record, Mr. Estevez stated that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) poses “one of our most difficult challenges related to U.S. national security and foreign policy objectives, including our ability to maintain U.S. technological leadership in critical areas.” “I am deeply concerned about the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) efforts… Read More

Upcoming Event: Unacceptable Risk: Expanding the FCC’s Covered List to Reflect Reality

Spoiler alert: it is not a list any company would want to be on… Join us for an upcoming event on Tuesday October 19, 2021 at 11:30 AM ET. Roslyn Layton will be joined by FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr and other prominent national security experts for a discussion about the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s plan expand their “Covered List” of communications equipment and services that pose an unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States or the security and safety of United States persons. The 2019 Secure and Trusted Networks Act directs only a handful of companies to be on the list. However, given what we know about entities affiliated with the People’s Republic of China, others could… Read More