Coming This Week: CTT Launches Policy Recommendation Series for Incoming BIS Leaders

The Department of Commerce’ Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is the most important government agency most Americans have never heard of. Responsible for setting export control policies, enforcing treaty compliance and supporting U.S. technological leadership, the BIS plays a key role in maintaining the balance among U.S. innovation, commerce and national security interests. This once obscure office has taken on a prominent role as the United States’ competition (and tensions) with China has escalated. As Martijn Rasser and Meghan Lamberth penned recently, “As the enforcer of export controls, [BIS] has become ground zero of the technology competition with China… Export controls, investment reviews, and technology trade restrictions are now key levers in national security strategy.” President Biden has nominated… Read More

Lenovo: “An American security threat”

In a piece published over the weekend, an analysis reports that Lenovo continues “not shy away from its deep Chinese military ties” an remains a serious security threat to Americans across the country. Throughout the piece, the authors emphasize the continued grip that the Chinese Communist Party has on companies across the People’s Republic of China, including Lenovo. “In June 2017, Lenovo Group Ltd. joined the Civil Enterprise Military Expo in Beijing as a leading civil enterprise representative, along with large state-owned enterprises such as China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation and China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation.” The authors also explain that even with this clear and alarming evidence, the U.S. continues to fail to take real concrete steps around businesses… Read More

National Security Experts Urge FAA to Resolve 5G Rollout Concerns

Following the 30-day pause of the rollout of 5G in the C-band, a group of national security experts including former Congressman Mike Rogers (R-MI) and several retired generals wrote to the White House, expressing deep concern about the national security implications of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) flawed assertions that aviation safety could be at risk from 5G transmissions. They noted that the stakes are high in the race with China, a country that has deployed millions of 5G base stations and has dedicated twice as much valuable mid-spectrum to 5G versus the U.S. Notably U.S. weapons systems, cyber security, and intelligence capabilities will rely heavily on 5G technology, so there is a strategic imperative for the U.S. to win… Read More

Secretary of the U.S. Army: “We are in a competition with China that has far reaching consequences.”

This week Army Secretary Christine Wormuth joined Bonny Lin, Director at CSIS’ China Power Project, for a discussion on “China’s Power: Up for Debate 2021.” Secretary Wormuth delivered keynote remarks on the challenges posed by China’s growing power and the provided the view from the United States Army. From the outset, both Dr. Lin and Secretary Wormuth made it clear that over the last decade China has transformed itself into one of the world’s most formidable militaries. This was a notion that was evident in the most recent Department of Defense report to Congress on the military and security developments involving the PRC. Secretary Wormuth noted that the “while the United States was countering insurgency and combating terrorism in the… Read More

CTT Founder Pens Op-Ed In The Tennessean: Tennessee Remains at Risk

The Tennessean, Tennessee’s largest newspaper, published a critical opinion piece by China Tech Threat founder, Roslyn Layton. In her piece entitled “Despite warnings, Tennessee leaders not taking cyberthreats seriously”, Dr. Layton outlines the  history of Tennessee to buy into risky contracts with insecure technology vendors, and the impact that that has on citizens across the state. She also notes that when China Tech Threat made an effort to try to identify more of these contracts and gain a better understanding of where the state’s cyber vulnerabilities lie, the Tennessee government rejected our FOIA request.  She calls on state leaders to correct this and assess the nature of the contracts and the impact they could have on residents. To better understand… Read More

BIS Adds 12 Chinese Companies to the Entity List

Last week, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), within the Dept. of Commerce, added a dozen Chinese companies on the Entity List over national security and foreign policy concerns. The action comes as we await confirmation of Alan Estevez to assume leadership of the relatively unknown, but increasingly crucial agency. One of these companies is semiconductor maker New H3C Technologies (H3C), which is partly owned by U.S. company Hewlett Packard Enterprise. For its 2020 fiscal year, HPE recorded about $737 million in sales to H3C. This is equal to about 3% of total HPE revenues – as well as purchases amounting to roughly $215 million. Additionally, HPE’s Chinese partner is H3C, Tsinghua Unigroup, which CTT has repeatedly flagged as… Read More

China’s AI startups face few barriers to buy American tech; BIS, DoD, and Treasury on the sidelines

An explosive new report, Harnessed Lightning: How the Chinese Military Is Adopting Artificial Intelligence, from the Center for Security & Emerging Technology (CSET) is a wake-up call to America’s national security and strategic trade control policymakers. The report demonstrates how thousands of Chinese artificial intelligence (AI) startups can access American technologies, including advanced DRAM semiconductors. Of the 273 AI suppliers to the Chinese military identified in this study, less than two dozen are named in U.S. export control and sanctions regimes, whether the Entity List published by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), the Chinese Military-Industrial Complex Companies List published by the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or the List of… Read More

White House: The US must be Relevant Against China in SMEs

At an event hosted by AT&T last week, key members of the Biden Administration offered an update on Capitol Hill and Administration activity to address ongoing semiconductor supply chain and ICT issues. Speakers included Sreenivas Ramaswamy, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of the Secretary at the Department of Commerce; Peter Harrell, Senior Director for International Economics and Competitiveness, White House National Security Council; and industry leaders such as: John Neuffer, President & CEO, Semiconductor Industry AssociationRobert Hoffman, Head of Government Affairs, BroadcomMichael Petricone, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, Consumer Technology Association (CTA)Jayne Stancavage, Global Executive Director of Product & Digital Infrastructure Policy, Intel CorporationBruce Stokes, Non-Resident Transatlantic Fellow, The German Marshall Fund of the United States Sreenivas Ramaswamy took the bulk… Read More

China Tech Threat Outreach: Assessing Cyber Risk in TN, NJ and ME

Yesterday China Tech Threat sent 29 emails to the Tennessee, New Jersey and Maine congressional delegations. In the emails, China Tech Threat explained that these states have unwittingly purchased vulnerable equipment from Lenovo and Lexmark, vendors restricted by US military and intelligence authorities because of risk of cyber intrusion from actors in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). China Tech Threat’s 2019 Report “Stealing from the States” provides background on the risk as identified by the Department of Defense for Lenovo laptops, Lexmark printers, and other “common off the shelf” items and in depth reporting about individual US states. Further, our recent October 2021 memo gives even information on specific states. China Tech Threat has made multiple Freedom of Information… Read More

Air Force’s GPS Do-Over Serves as Reminder of the Cost of Insecure Technology

In August 2019, a Pentagon report fretted over $30+ million spent by military personnel on Lexmark printers and Lenovo computers that had been banned from US military and intelligence networks. Since that time, China Tech Threat has explored how both companies have continued to sell $50 million worth of equipment to nearly forty states. We continue to ask questions to state leaders, including those from Maine, New Jersey and Tennessee that have ignored our Freedom of Information Act requests asking them to tell us how much they spent and where this equipment is used. Learn more about our efforts here. What we do know is that the US military continues to reject suspect Chinese technology. One prominent recent example comes… Read More