China Tech Threat Newsletter – January 22, 2021


Today: Panel On National Semiconductor Policy To Counter The Chinese Challenge. 
With the official start of the Biden administration, the Lincoln Network will host a virtual panel today at 2:00PM (EST) titled “The Future of U.S. Semiconductor Policy: Answering the China Chip Challenge” featuring China Tech Threat Co-Founder Dr. Roslyn Layton, Director of Intelligence Integration at SOS International Dr. James Mulvenon, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) Vice President Stephen Ezell, and Alexiaa Jordan, Innovation, Cyber, and National Security Analyst at Lincoln Network. Click here to register. 

Podcast: CSIS ChinaPower Podcast Talks With Dr. Roslyn Layton On Semiconductors. 
Dr. Roslyn Layton was a guest on the latest episode of the Center For Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) ChinaPower Podcast where she and Dr. John Lewis analyzed how to control the proliferation of technologies for military use by China. The podcast discussion, hosted by CSIS Senior Adviser Bonnie S. Glaser, concludes with recommended actions for the Biden administration to restrict technological exports and notes the bipartisan agreement in taking a hard stance against China.

Idaho Spent More Than $4 Million On Banned Chinese Technology Putting Residents At Risk. As part of China Tech Threat’s ongoing state FOIA project, it found that Idaho has spent a total of over $4 million on restricted Lenovo products in recent years. While the federal government restricts the use of many technologies produced by Chinese government owned and affiliated entities, like Lenovo, because of the risks they pose to national security, many states have not adopted these security measures. The FOIA revealed the wide range of Idaho government agencies that have purchased Lenovo’s restricted equipment ranging from public health, to education to even the Idaho Supreme Court. 

Coming Soon: Report On Chinese Tech Threats To US Financial Industry. Following the SolarWinds cyber breach, Mike Rogers, former chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, warned in in a Wall Street Journal op-ed: “Beyond the sheer breadth of the attack, it also reveals that government agencies are no longer the only targets of the United States’ adversaries—American businesses are, too.” China Tech Threat will soon release a report on China’s Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) and its increasing focus on the financial industry, perhaps the single most important industrial sector to protect from cyberattack given the nature of its critical infrastructure. For more, read the latest blog by China Tech Threat.  

China Aims To Dominate Flash Memory Using Subsidy And Espionage. In a new contributor column for Forbes, Roslyn Layton warns of the efforts by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to “dominate” the market for flash data, the specialized chips that maintain data on phones and transfer it between devices.  In her column, Layton cites a new report on Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. (YMTC) and its goals of “capturing 7% to 15% of global production by 2024.” In another Forbes piece, Layton describes how Lenovo’s chief executive, a Chinese Communist Party member, “double-hatted” as a cosmopolitan business leader in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park during the acquisition of IBM’s laptop division, a key element of China’s techno-nationalist strategy. 

Optimism For Biden Administration In Role Shaping Cryptocurrency Future. In a Real Clear video panel discussion about the future of cryptocurrency, experts expressed optimism for President Biden with the of naming Gary Gensler as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.  U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-North Carolina, a ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, noted Gensler’s “broad understanding of technology and financial innovation.” Roslyn Layton pointed to the important role the new administration will play in shaping the future of cryptocurrency, an area where the U.S. currently holds a global development advantage.  Layton warned that “Crypto is on the verge of being stolen by China and used against us.” Separately, Biden’s nominee for Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, observed in his Senate confirmation that President Donald Trump was right in taking “a tougher approach” to China, even if Blinken did not agree with all his methods. “No party has a monopoly on good ideas,” he said.