China Select Committee Puts Tech Vulnerabilities on Full Display

Yesterday, the House Select Committee on the Chinese Community Party (CCP) held a hearing on “The Biden Administration’s PRC Strategy.” When asked if U.S. technology should go to a company that spies on the U.S. like Huawei, there was universal agreement from the witnesses: No.

Huawei has become the poster child for Chinese companies that threaten our national security. While the U.S. took actions that at one point left the telecom giant “struggling to survive,” it has since rebounded. Not only did a Wall Street Journal exclusive recently reveal that Huawei workers were tracked to suspected Chinese spy sites in Cuba, Huawei is also working with SMIC to get chips to “overcome U.S. sanctions.”

The U.S. needs to take additional actions against Huawei, but as Chairman Mike Gallagher commented in his opening remarks:

“The [Biden] Administration has sanctioned more PRC persons for illegal fishing than it has for genocide in Xinjiang. … [R]ight now, good policies that would earn bipartisan support are stuck in the interagency process, apparent sacrifices on the altar of engagement. … You have to fight the bureaucracy. You have to fight Wall Street. You have to fight corporate boardrooms. And you have to fight CCP efforts to undermine our defenses.”

The Administration isn’t using all the tools in its toolbox, and it must do so to be effective. That not only means tighter restrictions for Huawei, but also not turning a blind eye to other Chinese companies that threaten our national security, like SMIC, which is China’s biggest chipmaker and key to Beijing’s ambitions. Like Huawei, SMIC got Entity Listed and suffered initial blows, but it’s doing well now with a focus on legacy chips. And it just got a new Chairman, who “is a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, China’s top political advisory body.”

The Administration doesn’t seem to recognize this threat because of its bias towards advanced vs. legacy chips, which is clear by policies that assume smaller node sizes are more important. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration Thea Rozman Kendler proved this point when she took at victory lap on SMIC at yesterday’s hearing, touting in her testimony that “Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC) has removed 14nm fabrication technology from the list of services on its website.”

Just because SMIC isn’t focused on advanced chips, doesn’t mean it’s not a threat. The U.S. government should recognize that and take action. Visit to learn more about the importance of legacy chips to our defense systems, critical infrastructure, and more. We also lay out four actions the U.S. government should take:

  1. Close export control loopholes on SMIC
  2. Strengthen section 5949 of the NDAA
  3. Leverage tariffs to protect U.S. capacity
  4. Award CHIPS Act money fairly