TikTok 2.0: Tencent’s WeChat and Epic Games Present the Same Threats as TikTok – But Without the Scrutiny (Yet)

On Friday, we blogged about efforts to restrict TikTok, calling it the “greatest Trojan Horse in history.” You can read that blog HERE.Today we present Tencent, a Chinese digital media and entertainment behemoth that presents similar security risks as TikTok, but has mostly flown under the radar as a threat to the United States.It shouldn’t any longer.Tencent is China’s largest tech company and one of the largest companies in the world based on market capitalization—ranking as the 25th most valuable company in the world as of January 2024, by one measure. It has ownership stakes in hundreds of entertainment, media, and communications products and companies throughout the world, including in the U.S.As it has done with… Read More

The Greatest Trojan Horse in History

In the past year, public controversy over TikTok has died down somewhat. That doesn’t make it any less dangerous.The end of 2022 saw a deluge of reporting that should lead state and federal officials to conclude that TikTok, the app owned by Chinese company ByteDance, is the greatest Trojan Horse in history and should be banned.  In brief, under Chinese law, any Chinese-owned company is bound to do what the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) commands in the name of national security. It doesn’t matter where a company’s data is stored—under Chinese law, the Party is entitled to it. That presents enormous potential for the CCP to weaponize TikTok—the most downloaded app in the world—against the U.S. and its… 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

PA Taxpayers’ Data At Risk of Surveillance Through Risky Chinese Technology

Legislation sponsored by state Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill prohibiting TikTok on state-owned devices and networks to protect Pennsylvania residents unanimously passed the Senate earlier this year. In addition to this bill, to properly safeguard taxpayers’ data, Pennsylvania should join the growing list of states passing laws to prohibit the purchase of other dangerous Chinese technology. As China Tech Threat’s (CTT) May briefing paper shows, states continue to use risky technology by Lexmark and Lenovo, manufacturers already restricted by U.S. military and intelligence agencies due to their connection to the Chinese government and military. CTT’s recent research reveals that unlike many other states, Pennsylvania has had no direct spending on this harmful technology since 2019; however, its purchase through third-party resellers is… Read More

$479,918 Spent By The First State Causes Security Concerns

In a February interview with Delaware Public Media, University of Delaware professor and cybersecurity expert John D’Arcy discussed the state’s recent TikTok ban for security concerns, including the Chinese government being able to obtain data from Delaware agencies or employees. The First State’s agencies’ and employees’ data is also vulnerable to Chinese theft through the almost half a million dollars it spent on restricted Chinese technology in recent years.China Tech Threat (CTT) recently reported that Delaware spent $479,918 on technology from Lexmark and Lenovo between 2019 and 2022. As reported in our fact sheet, this technology was purchased by the Office of the Attorney General, the DE Department of State, as well as the University of Delaware and other… Read More

Connecticut Should Ban More Than Apps To Protect Its Privacy

The Connecticut General Assembly is moving closer to a TikTok ban on state devices. About the potential ban, State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff said, “We hear more and more from the federal government and others about privacy concerns.” If citizens of the Constitution State knew that between 2015 and 2023, the state spent over $8 Million on dangerous technology already restricted by U.S. military and intelligence agencies due to its connection to the Chinese government and military, they would demand these purchases be banned, as well.China Tech Threat’s (CTT) recent research shows Connecticut spent $8,837,583 on restricted technology by Lexmark and Lenovo. As detailed in our fact sheet, the Office of the Governor, the Division of Criminal Justice,… Read More

Nevada Should Expand Its Blacklist To Include Risky Tech from Lexmark and Lenovo

On March 6, Nevada’s CIO issued a New State Security Standard blacklisting TikTok and other applications and technology from state-owned devices, networks, and platforms, including Chinese companies already banned at the federal level. If Nevadans knew of the over $2 million their state spent on restricted Chinese technology from Lexmark, Inc. and Lenovo, Inc., they’d demand that the CIO blacklist these manufacturers, too.China Tech Threat (CTT) discovered that between 2019 and 2022, Nevada spent $2,706,054 on dangerous technology by Chinese-government owned manufacturers already banned by U.S. military and intelligence agencies due to their connection with China’s government and military.  As our fact sheet shows, this risky technology is being used in the Attorney General’s Office, the Department of Motor… Read More

Time for Kansas To Stop Purchasing Dangerous China Tech 

In December, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly issued Executive Order No. 22-10 prohibiting the use of TikTok on state-owned devices and networks citing the need to safeguard the security and privacy of Kansans’ data. Also in need of safeguarding is the sensitive information held by the state agencies that purchased more than $3 million worth of restricted Chinese technology in recent years, as revealed by China Tech Threat’s (CTT) research. As detailed in our Fact Sheet, between 2016 and 2022, Kansas spent $3,626,106 on risky Chinese technology from Lexmark and Lenovo, manufacturers already restricted by U.S. military and intelligence agencies due to their connection to the Chinese government and military. Used by the Legislature, the Office of the Bank Commissioner, the… Read More

Vermont Was First State to Ban Chinese Tech But Can Do More

On February 16, Vermont’s Agency of Digital Services issued Cybersecurity Update Standard 2023-1 adding TikTok and WeChat to the list of technology products including Chinese manufacturers and telecom equipment its state agencies are prohibited from acquiring. Originally outlined in a 2019 directive, Vermont was the first state to enact a ban of this kind. China Tech Threat (CTT) commends this leadership and urges Vermont to take additional action to prohibit the purchase of dangerous Chinese government-owned technology from Lexmark and Lenovo.  CTT’s recent research reveals that unlike many other states, Vermont has had no direct spending on this risky technology from these two companies since 2015. Prohibiting any future purchases is imperative because China’s 2017 National Intelligence Law obligates Lexmark… Read More

North Dakota Should Stop China Tech Purchases Like Grand Forks Stopped China Corn Mill

City council members in Grand Forks, North Dakota, last month voted unanimously to halt a Chinese company’s proposed corn mill after the US Air Force said its proximity to a military base would pose a national security risk. If North Dakotans knew of the more than 1 million the state spent on banned Chinese technology from Lexmark and Lenovo, they’d expect state legislators to act just as quickly to halt further purchases.China Tech Threat’s (CTT) recent research shows that between 2018 and 2023, North Dakota spent $1,372,439 on risky technology being used in the state’s universities and the Department of Workforce Safety and Insurance, as outlined in CTT’s fact sheet. Proprietary research and intellectual property as well as residents’… Read More