SOS International Report Details Chinese State-Owned YMTC’s Military Ties

Last December, James Mulvenon of SOS International released a report that explored Chinese state-owned memory chip maker Yangtze Memory Technologies Company’s (YMTC) ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The report identified alarming uses of state subsidies to support espionage and anticompetitive practices against competitors. The December report came weeks after Dr. Roslyn Layton cautioned in Forbes that, given ties to the PLA, YMTC and other Chinese state-owned chip makers “must be added to the Entity List [or at least designated as a Military End User] to ensure critical US technology is not weaponized against Americans.” In February, Dr. Mulvenon, who is rumored to be a front-runner to lead the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and… Read More

Cyber-attacks on the Rise Warns Bank of America Chief Technology Officer

This week, Cathy Bessant, Chief Operations and Technology Officer at Bank of America gave a stark warning about cyberattacks on U.S. financial institutions saying, “there’s no question that the rate and pace of attacks, and the nature of attacks, has grown dramatically.” “Criminals are by definition very crafty, very entrepreneurial – and times of stress produce opportunities,” Bessant told journalists during a virtual briefing Monday. The company’s centralized global information-security unit has boosted spending in recent years to about US$1bil. Further, about 64% of finance executives expect cybersecurity budgets to keep rising, a separate Deloitte survey showed. Earlier this year, China Tech Threat published a report showing that cyber-attacks against financial organizations are growing in frequency and severity and U.S.… Read More

Rep. McCaul, Sen. Cotton Call on U.S. Commerce to Department to Tighten Controls on SME

Congressman Michael McCaul, ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Senator Tom Cotton called on U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo last week to tighten restriction on the sale of semiconductor manufacturing equipment (SME) to China. “The export of advanced dual-use U.S. technology to any People’s Republic of China entity is effectively a direct delivery to the People’s Liberation Army,” the letter states. “Our export control system should reflect this reality.” Rep. McCaul and Sen. Cotton cite a Washington Post article this month, which revealed that sensitive electronic design automation (EDA) equipment sold to an ostensibly civilian Chinese company is now being used by China’s military to develop advanced weapons. Among those is a hypersonic missile that may 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

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

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

5G Security Challenges Webinar: “Lenovo is more Chinese than Huawei”

Last week, the Parliamentary Intelligence-Security forum (PI-SF) held a webinar titled “5G Security Challenges.” The second in the 5G security series, Congressman Robert Pittenger hosted a lively conversation featuring U.S. political leaders and European lawmakers to discuss the growing threat from China’s 5G ambitions. One major takeaway from the event was that we must be aware of the dangers of Chinese technolgy, not just from Huawei, but from companies such as Lenovo, GE and Motorola. As one panelist put it, “The Chinese Communist Party is hiding behind its vendors.” The webinar featured former Congressman Mike Rogers (R-MI), Hon. Jason Boswell, Head of Security for the Network and Product Solutions Department at Ericsson, and Hon. Sohan Dasguspta, Deputy Counsel for the… 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

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