Who’s to blame for “toothless” export controls?

A recent opinion piece by Financial Times Greater China correspondent Kathrin Hille makes some powerful assertions. In “Huawei woes hide ‘toothless’ US export controls against Chinese tech,” she asserts: Huawei’s revenues are in “free fall” from the Entity List designation.The US should not construe this as a victory in its “technology war” with China.Huawei is just one company among many in China. While Huawei is hurting, other Chinese companies are thriving, notably in the semiconductor industry.US policymakers now have a difficult road ahead with export controls because US companies rely on money from China to earn revenue to fund future innovation.Corporate lobbying is slowing down the Bureau of Industry and Security’s (BIS) implementation of the 2018 Export Control Reform Act… Read More

Will Hunt and Roslyn Layton: The Importance of the U.S. Semiconductor Market

This week, Dr. Roslyn Layton sat down with Will Hunt from Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET) where they discussed the importance of the American semiconductor market and the ways in which we can ensure a strong national supply chain policy in the face of increasing national security and economic threats. Hunt is a Research Analyst at CSET focusing on semiconductor workforce and supply chain issues. Earlier this summer, he was featured on a China Tech Threat panel where he brought his expertise to comment on the future of the leadership at the Bureau of Industry and Security. Layton and Hunt had a thoughtful discussion and touched on four major points: US Semiconductor Strengths: Chip Design, Software, Toolmakers… Read More

“The Chinese are in a Massive Campaign in Collecting Data”: Part II of Vlog Series on Banking Cybersecurity

In the second vlog of our High Tech Heist Series on Banking Cybersecurity, Dr. Roslyn Layton sat down with Congressman Robert Pittenger to discuss the growing threat of Chinese data collection and the ways in which we can prevent rising technology issues. From 2013-2018, Congressman Pittenger represented the Charlotte, NC area, the country’s second-largest banking center by assets. At the time, he served as Chairman of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, and as Vice Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance. Congressman Pittenger was a lead author of the 2018 Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA), which reformed the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to crack… Read More

The Infrastructure Bill: A Critical Way to Compete with China

At a speech on Monday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken noted the importance of the Senate passing the $1 trillion infrastructure bill as the U.S continues to compete with China. “The Chinese and Russian governments, among others, are making the argument in public and private that the United States is in decline,” said Blinken. “Nothing would put to rest faster their specious argument about America’s best days being behind us than if the United States made serious investments in our domestic renewal right now.” In February, President Biden told senators that Beijing’s infrastructure investments were far outpacing Washington’s, and warned that without similar investment, “[China is] going to eat our lunch.” The Senate version, passed on Tuesday night, includes $550… Read More

CNAS’ New Report Proposes a “whole-of-nation approach” on Tech Competition

Last week the Center for New American Studies (CNAS) published its third report in the series entitled U.S. National Technology Strategy project. The latest report, From Plan to Action: Operationalizing a U.S. National Technology Strategy, “focuses on concrete and pragmatic measures that U.S. policymakers should take to operationalize a national technology strategy.” The executive summary notes “four premises to the security and technology competition” that help inform the paper and the recommendations it offers for policy makers. These include: the utility of industrial policies, the convergence of national and economic security, gaps in knowledge, and the need for international partnerships. From there, CNAS provides four recommendations for the Administration to help build a well-rounded technology policy approach: Bolster the Department… Read More

Biden Nominates China Trade and Export Control Professional to BIS

This week President Biden nominated former Justice Department prosecutor Thea Kendler as assistant secretary for export administration at BIS. If confirmed, she would lead the export arm of BIS, an increasingly important role as US-China tensions rise. This announcement comes off the back of Biden’s nomination of Alan Estevez earlier this month. In a statement on his nomination to be the Under Secretary of Industry and Security at the Commerce Department, China Tech Threat founder Roslyn Layton noted that “placing Mr. Estevez at the helm of BIS signals that the Biden administration understands the threat posed by China and is taking it seriously.” Further, through research into his career, China Tech Threat produced a memo to give further insight into what BIS might look… Read More

Dr. Layton Pens Op-ed About the #FutureofBIS

This morning Real Clear Defense published an op-ed by China Tech Threat founder, Dr. Roslyn Layton. The op-ed, entitled “Can Strategic Trade Nominee Lead Crucial Agency to Compete with China?” examines and explains the importance of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). As Dr. Layton notes the “once a relatively unknown government agency, BIS’ responsibility of enforcing strategic export controls on sensitive technologies has elevated the office to a more prominent role, especially as U.S.-China relations have grown increasingly tense.” Dr. Layton also give thoughtful insight into the recent nomination of Alan Estevez to lead the department during the Biden Administration. The op-ed explores Mr. Estevez’s qualifications for this leadership position, the career path that… Read More

CTT Research Memo Finds Three Main Lessons on BIS Nominee Alan Estevez

Two weeks ago, President Joe Biden nominated Alan Estevez as the director of BIS. On that day, China Tech Threat hosted an online panel of four previous BIS directors’ views on Mr. Estevez’s pending challenges. (China Tech Threat’s coverage of the BIS nomination, opinions, news articles, and expert videos can all be found at chinatechthreat.com/future-of-bis/.) In order to better understand the nominee’s views on export controls, the Entity List, and other BIS tools, China Tech Threat has studied his career and compiled this research memo summarizing three main lessons. While there is limited material to examine,- after all, having spent 36 years as a Department of Defense civil servant, Mr. Estevez provides little public commentary, speeches, and writings upon which to… Read More

US and Allies Accuse China of Major Cyberattacks

Yesterday, the U.S., NATO and other allies are came together to call out China for malicious cyberattacks, including a March attack that exploited a flaw in Microsoft’s Exchange Server. It’s the first time that NATO has signed onto a formal condemnation of China’s cyber activities. They authorities are detailing more than 50 different techniques that Chinese state-sponsored actors used, and offering up recommended mitigations that businesses and organizations can take. The U.S. says that China’s Ministry of State Security is using contract hackers to conduct the attacks, many of which are being done for profit, including via ransomware. As part of Monday’s announcement, the Justice Department unveiled criminal charges against four Ministry of State Security hackers for a “multiyear campaign… Read More

The Hill and White House Get Tighter on the CCP’s Abuses

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) on Monday urged Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to add Chinese chipmaker Yangtze Memory Technologies Company (YMTC) to the department’s Entity List, citing ties to the Chinese military. The lawmakers wrote in the letter that urgency is needed to make sure memory chip supply does not become a “point of leverage” for China over the U.S. China’s “irrational state subsidies and non-financial support” to firms such as YMTC pose a threat to U.S. and its allies because memory chips have applications in defense, aerospace, artificial intelligence, they note. Both men sit on committees that have jurisdiction over export controls; McCaul is the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Hagerty is the… Read More