CTT Advisor Steve Coonen Calls Out Failing U.S. Control Regime

CTT Advisor Steve Coonen—who resigned from the Pentagon in 2021 over the U.S. Government’s totally ineffective export control regime—is up with a piece in The Wire China. Although Congress has been warning since 1998 that American technologies are arming China, U.S. export control authorities have done little of consequence to arrest the flow of American know-how to our greatest adversaries. Writes Coonen: From the export of supercomputers to develop China’s nuclear weapons to the nearly undefeatable hypersonic weapons designed to deliver them; from the liberal transfer of semiconductor manufacturing equipment to the sensors in China’s Great Undersea Wall that can detect U.S. submarines in the Taiwan Strait, U.S. technologies have been vital to China’s military advancement. One would think that U.S.… Read More

Statement by China Tech Threat on Recent News Story

A news story posted which reflects China Tech Threat (CTT)’s success highlighting the danger of using technology manufactured by Chinese-owned companies.   During the course of our discussion with this publication, we repeatedly asserted that since its origin in 2019, CTT has never published anything that was factually incorrect. Likewise, the outlet was unable to identify any inaccuracies or sources which contradicted CTT’s research.   We are proud of our work and commend the many organizations, experts, and policymakers that create transparency about the risk of using technology owned and affiliated with the Chinese government.    .kb-row-layout-id9927_e6b475-ed .kt-row-column-wrap{align-content:start;}:where(.kb-row-layout-id9927_e6b475-ed .kt-row-column-wrap) .wp-block-kadence-column{justify-content:start;}.kb-row-layout-id9927_e6b475-ed .kt-row-column-wrap{column-gap:var(--global-kb-gap-md, 2rem);row-gap:var(--global-kb-gap-md, 2rem);padding-top:var(--global-kb-spacing-sm, 1.5rem);padding-bottom:var(--global-kb-spacing-sm, 1.5rem);grid-template-columns:minmax(0, 1fr);}.kb-row-layout-id9927_e6b475-ed{background-color:#f3f3f3;}.kb-row-layout-id9927_e6b475-ed .kt-row-layout-overlay{opacity:0.30;}@media all and (max-width: 1024px){.kb-row-layout-id9927_e6b475-ed .kt-row-column-wrap{grid-template-columns:minmax(0, 1fr);}}@media all and (max-width: 767px){.kb-row-layout-id9927_e6b475-ed .kt-row-column-wrap{grid-template-columns:minmax(0, 1fr);}} .kadence-column9927_58cc13-40… Read More

Is 2024 the year of the legacy chip?

It may be too early to tell, but the momentum is promising. The latest evidence comes from a Wall Street Journal exclusive on a letter from House CCP Select Committee leaders.  In the letter, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) call on the Biden administration to take “urgent action” to keep the PRC from dominating the legacy chip (also known as foundational chip) market. They warn, “If the United States becomes dependent on the PRC for foundational chips, our military and economic well-being may run the risk of being overly reliant on the Chinese Communist Party.” We couldn’t agree more and are glad Gallagher and Krishnamoorthi called on Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai to… Read More

The U.S. Has Work to Do at Home to Stop the PLA’s Modernization

By Steve Coonen In a sign that it still knows how to do at least one thing right, Congress has lately been busy preparing the U.S. military to fight and win against the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). In December, the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed the House of Representatives with increases in defense spending and military capabilities in the Indo-Pacific. These desperately needed steps will help America’s warfighters (and those of our partners and allies) deter Chinese military aggression. But these actions will ultimately be irrelevant if the Biden Administration and Congress do not similarly curtail China’s ability to use U.S. technology to modernize the People’s Liberation Army. Both branches of government would be wise to implement recent… Read More

Raimondo Talks Tough at Reagan Defense Forum But Challenges Remain  

Last weekend Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo spoke at the annual Reagan National Defense Forum, one of the signature events on the national security calendar. As the name might suggest, the gathering is traditionally popular with right-leaning national security figures, so credit a Democratic Secretary of Commerce for making an appearance. While she did have comments worth applauding, it’s clear the administration is still focused on advanced chips and needs to broaden its focus to counter threats at the legacy chip level for the sake of our national security and economic prosperity.   CTT has long argued that U.S. semiconductor equipment companies are putting cash over country (see our report by that name) by selling some of the world’s most sensitive… Read More

Caught Red Handed: Applied Materials Allegedly Illegally Exporting Tech to China

For years China Tech Threat has warned that U.S. export controls have been insufficient to stop the transfer of American technology to the Chinese military. In our August 2023 report, Cash Over County, we explained how American semiconductor equipment manufacturers Applied Materials, KLA, and Lam Research grew their combined revenues from China by 103% between 2018 and 2022—strengthening the Chinese military and intelligence apparatuses in the process. Apparently, the greed infecting at least one of these companies is worse than we thought. Reuters reports that the Justice Department is investigating Applied Materials for allegedly selling hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of equipment to China in violation of U.S. export controls. The alleged infractions took place in 2021 and 2022,… Read More

As Biden and Xi Meet, Chinese Tech Threats Continue to Grow

President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet in San Francisco today. In the lead-up to the meeting, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that the U.S. seeks “a pragmatic economic strategy: one that protects our vital national security interests while seeking a stable and healthy economic relationship.” It sounds wonderful. But the most pragmatic strategy is one that recognizes the extent to which China is threatening the U.S. through technology. If left unchecked, multiple ongoing Chinese efforts in the tech arena will continue to damage both American national security and prosperity. Begin with semiconductors. China has responded to the U.S. restrictions imposed on advanced chips (14nm and lower in node size) in October 2022 by subsidizing the production of… Read More

YMTC’s Chip Breakthrough Shows Weakness of U.S. Export Controls

Last year, the U.S. imposed export controls designed to curtail the flow of American chipmaking technology to Chinese semiconductor firms. Soon after, one of China’s top chipmakers, YMTC, was added to the Entity List. Both actions were long awaited, but were they too little, too late? The evidence is mounting and suggests the federal government has much work ahead of it to properly curtail the Chinese semiconductor industry while also bolstering American production. The latest example comes from TechInsights, which recently reported that it discovered “the world’s most advanced 3D NAND memory chip in a consumer device.” Shockingly, its manufacturer is YMTC—a company with proven ties to the Chinese military. The fact that YMTC can continue to make world-leading chips… Read More

Lam Research’s China Revenues Show that U.S. Export Controls Aren’t Working; Blanket Policy Denials Are Needed

By Steve Coonen A top U.S. semiconductor manufacturing equipment manufacturer, Lam Research, released its most recent quarterly results last week, and the numbers clearly indicate that U.S. export controls are not working. As Nikkei Asia reports: Despite the semiconductor-related export curbs first announced in October 2022 that barred American companies from shipping advanced chip equipment to China without a license, the country remains Lam’s largest revenue contributor, contributing 48% of the total in the three-month period, up from 30% a year ago and 26% in the previous quarter. That’s right, Lam’s China revenues are rising as a percentage of company revenue, not falling. Lam’s leadership doesn’t foresee its China business dropping off, either. Referring to new export controls released last… Read More

Experts React to Disappointing New Round of Export Controls at “Cash Over Country” Event

A year ago, BIS issued a landmark set of export controls designed to hinder China’s ability to make advanced semiconductors (and with good reason, since China’s major semiconductor companies are tied to the Chinese military). While encouraging at the outset, they’ve ultimately proved to be inadequate because of loopholes and a too-narrow focus on advanced chips. When reporting first trickled in that BIS was going to add additional provisions to the October 7 rules, optimism was brewing that BIS may expand them to cover legacy chips. After all, addressing China’s drive to dominate the legacy chip sector would be a logical step for protecting American national and economic security. That optimism was rooted in comments from Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo,… Read More