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

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

Report: The Detrimental Impact of China’s Mercantilist Policies on the Semiconductor Industry

In his new report, Stephen Ezell, Vice President of Global Innovation Policy at Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), explores how China’s aggressive strategy to distort and harm the global semiconductor market is continues to hurt the U.S and the market at large.    In highlighting the growth of the industry, he explains “a thriving global semiconductor industry depends upon three critical conditions: fair access to global markets, market-based competition to reduce artificial overcapacity and significant price declines, and minimal intellectual property theft.” To contextualize this, he uses the example of Applied Materials, ASML, KLA Tencor, and Lam Research, a collection of US and European companies that “manufacture the machines and tooling equipment that run semiconductor fabs.” Ezell explains that… Read More

Importance of Crucial BIS Post in International Spotlight

During the past week top international newspapers have noted the vital importance of President Biden’s choice to head the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). The 450-person agency “oversees the nation’s export-control rules, giving it a big role in deciding which technologies are exported to China…” The Wall Street Journal said the pick will “offer clues to how the White House will address security risks posed by Chinese tech companies.” At the same time, the Financial Times wrote that the “once low-profile post… has emerged as a as a key battleground for China hawks in Washington who want to push Joe Biden to take a hard line on technology exports to Beijing.” Two candidates have emerged as possible… Read More

Biden Says Administration is Ready for “extreme competition” with China

During his pre-Super Bowl LV interview with CBS News, President Biden discussed his approach to China and his relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping, saying that his administration is ready for “extreme competition.”   This has been a consistent theme in the early days of the new administration. China Tech Threat called attention to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki’s statement from the podium, when she said: “Strategic competition with China is a defining feature of the 21st century. China is engaged in conduct that it hurts American workers, blunts our technological edge, and threatens our alliances and our influence in international organizations.” As the Biden-Harris Administration undergoes its review of policies and regulatory actions connected to companies and Chinese investment, it… Read More

USCC Eyes China’s Tech Rise with Concern

On Thursday January 28, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) held a hearing entitled “U.S.-China Relations at the Chinese Communist Party’s Centennial.” In the first public hearing during Joe Biden’s administration, the council held three different panels to address the ways in which the US-China dynamic will evolve as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) enters its 100th year. In their opening remarks, co-chairs Carolyn Bartholomew and Roy Kamphausen emphasized the need for American decision makers to “successfully address the generational challenge that China poses.” In relation to technology and China’s vision, all witnesses made a clear statement: technology is central to the CCP vision and the technological arms race with the US will not slow without serious US… Read More

Biden’s Press Secretary Confirms President’s Chinese Policy: No Changes Expected

For many months, experts have anticipated that President Biden’s China strategy would like a lot like that of former President Trump (WSJ: What’s Biden’s New China Policy? It Looks a Lot Like Trump’s). Yesterday, during her daily briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed Biden’s expected attitude saying that “our approach to China remains what it has been since — for the last months, if not longer.” Earlier in the day, Chinese President Xi Jinping had spoken to the World Economic Forum about cooperation so Ms. Psaki was asked nine questions about US-Chinese relations, with a heavy emphasis on technology. Ms. Psaki’s response was blunt: “Strategic competition with China is a defining feature of the 21st century. China is engaged… Read More