Chinese Universities Join the Push for Semiconductor Dominance

China’s mainland universities are ramping up programs to support the Chinese government’s ambitions to dominate the global semiconductor market, the South China Morning Post reported this week. “The increase in… academic programmes shows how China is doubling down on efforts to build up its semiconductor industry, which has been hampered by Beijing’s tech and trade war with Washington,” the article notes. The Made in China 2025 plan calls for eight percent of Chinese R&D expenditures to be directed to the semiconductor market, but a lack of skilled engineers “continues to be a drag on China’s attempts to catch up with the West.” The universities’ engagement demonstrates the Chinese Communist Party’s whole-of-nation approach to developing the country’s indigenous chip-making capabilities. Through… Read More

Bank of American spends over $1 billion on Cybersecurity

In an interview earlier this month, Brian Moynihan, CEO at Bank of America, discussed the doubling of cybersecurity spending by the bank since he began as CEO. He noted that, “I became CEO 11 and a half years ago, and we probably spent three to $400 million [per year] and we’re up over a billion now.” A recent barrage of cyber-attacks across a variety of key industries in the U.S. has placed a new sense of urgency on protecting against cybercrime. Back in May, 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… Read More

White House Report Part 2 of 2: Short-Term Profits Undermine Long-Term Resilience

A White House report last week offers a solemn assessment of American companies prioritizing profits over national security and long-term sustainability. “A focus on maximizing short-term capital returns has led to the private sector’s underinvestment in long-term resilience,” the 250-page report states. The United States has a competitive advantage over China in the production of semiconductor manufacturing equipment (SME), which provides a chokepoint that can limit “advanced semiconductor capabilities in countries of concern.” Yet, despite tighter export controls in recent years, sales to Chinese companies have been a major driver of American SME makers’ profits. Approximately 90 percent of Applied Materials’ and Lam Research’s revenues came from non-U.S. sales last year, the White House report notes. The percentage of Lam… Read More

White House Report Part 1 of 2: China’s “Massive Subsidy Campaign”

The White House released a report on Tuesday that details the findings and recommendations of the Administration’s 100-day supply chain review. Among the findings, the report warns of the Chinese government’s “massive subsidy campaign” to dominate emerging markets. President Biden signed an executive order in February that directed the review of four key industries: semiconductors, large capacity batteries, critical minerals and pharmaceuticals. The report states that the Chinese government’s “massive subsidy campaign [as much as $200 billion over the past eight years] to develop its domestic semiconductor capability” has exploited “gray areas” in international trade rules and avoided World Trade Organization (WTO) oversight. The Chinese Communist Party has made a concerted effort to dominate the semiconductor market. The Made in… Read More

Let the Chips Fall at BIS? Highlights Challenges, Opportunities for Biden Nominee

President Biden’s nominee to lead the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) will need to advance offensive and defensive measures to curtail China’s ambitions to dominate modern technology markets. That was among the participants’ recommendations during today’s virtual roundtable, “Let the Chips Fall at BIS?” The event, hosted by Dr. Roslyn Layton, featured Emily de La Bruyère, Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies; Stephen Ezell, Vice President of Global Innovation Policy at the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation; and Will Hunt, Research Analysist at the Center for Security and Emerging Technology. The event coincided with the release of the White House’s 100-day supply chain review report. Among the findings, the report highlights the… Read More

“China Has Figured Out How to Weaponize America’s Advantages”

Just Announced: FDD’s Emily de La Bruyère to Join Tomorrow’s Webinar. The outcome of the U.S. and China vying for control over modern technology markets will be decided within months or years, not decades, say Emily de La Bruyère and Nathan Picarsic, senior fellows with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD). ***Two weeks ago, Mr. Picarsic and Ms. de La Bruyère co-published a study, “Defusing Military-Civil Fusion: The Need to Identify and Respond to Chinese Military Companies.” Now Ms. de La Bruyère will join Dr. Roslyn Layton, Stephen Ezell and Will Hunt for tomorrow’s online panel discussion, “Let the Chips Fall at BIS?” Register for the event here. While there is growing consensus about the need to counter China’s… Read More

Cyber Security Forum: “We Are Outfitting Our Most Important Infrastructure with Chinese Products”

During a virtual roundtable event hosted by the Parliamentary Intelligence-Security Forum, participants discussed the growing cyber threat against financial organizations and appropriate policy responses. “The rate of cyberattacks on U.S. financial infrastructure is increasing in severity and sophistication,” Dr. Roslyn Layton explained, despite greater government regulation and spending. Evidence overwhelming indicates these attacks are being perpetrated with greater frequency by Chinese state-sponsored actors. “I don’t know if it’s a coincidence,” Pavel Popescu, a member of the Romanian Parliament, said, “but the same day last week that Europe postponed signing a commercial agreement with China, the Brussels offices of the European Union were attacked through a cyberattack.” Part of the problem, Dr. Layton added, is inconsistent cyber security protocols, particularly disconnects… Read More

Texas at Risk of Cyber Attacks Similar to New York and Others

This week, China Tech Threat published a blog detailing a recent cyberattack on Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), a renowned research and engineering school in New York. With more than $6 million in spending in risky tech products affiliated with the Chinese government, including more than $405,000 worth of spending by college and universities across Texas, are Texas universities the next target?  Over the last 18 months or so, China Tech Threat has been sounding the alarm over risky tech contracts with Chinese government-owned technology manufacturers including Lexmark and Lenovo, both of which have been restricted by the Pentagon. It is these types of contracts that leave Americans across the country, vulnerable. Now, our latest work on exposing risky state spending… Read More

Senators Introduce Legislation to Address the China Tech Threat

Yesterday, Senators Rubio and Markey introduced the Secure Equipment Act of 2021. According to the press release, the bill is “to direct the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to clarify that it will no longer review, or approve, applications from companies on the Commission’s “Covered List.” It would also halt any further sales or implementation of technology from Huawei, ZTE, Hytera, Hikvision, and Dahua – all Chinese Communist Party (CCP) state-backed or directed firms – in the U.S. regardless of whether federal funds are involved. Here at China Tech Threat, we applaud this bipartisan effort to secure our national security and help protect the privacy, security and prosperity of all Americans. While this bill takes important steps, it is by no… Read More

Cyberattack Hits NY School With US Military Research Contracts

China Tech Threat has been sounding the alarm over New York’s risky tech contracts with Chinese government-owned technology manufacturers including Lexmark and Lenovo, both of which have been banned by the Pentagon. These concerns have cited why New York, home to the world’s financial markets and high-tech research institutions, is such a valuable target. The latest news that Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a renowned research and engineering school, is the latest cyberattack victim only reinforces these concerns.  An Albany Times Union editorial “High-Tech vulnerability” echoed these concerns writing on the breadth of the threat posed by hackers who have “gotten into computer systems for airports. Telecommunications companies. Airlines. Banks. Health care systems. Insurers. Law enforcement.” In its report that the FBI… Read More