In mid-March, the South Carolina State Senate showed its commitment to combating threats from the PRC by approving a bill banning Chinese citizens from buying or controlling property in South Carolina. Its next step should be passing a law to stop the purchase of dangerous Chinese technology which is being used by the Department of Revenue, the Department of Education, and the Office of the Lieutenant Governor.
According to China Tech Threat’s (CTT) updated paper, between 2018 and 2023, the state of South Carolina spent $3,854,722 on restricted Chinese technology from Lenovo and Lexmark, as detailed in our South Carolina fact sheet. These specific Chinese companies have been banned from U.S. military and national security networks due to their connections to the Chinese government and military. Yet they can access sensitive personal and financial information held by courts, police departments, election boards, education departments, children and family services, and other social service providers and agencies.
To continue their efforts in stopping Chinese infiltration, South Carolina’s legislators can look to the 17 states taking action to ban state agencies from purchasing and deploying Chinese technology to prevent the exposure of government and citizens’ confidential information to the Chinese government. These efforts include South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem signing SB 189 into law in March, Idaho Governor Brad Little signing HB 294 and Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders signing HB 1789 in April, and, most recently, on May 1 Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signing SB 477.
CTT will continue to monitor the threats to South Carolina’s data and any efforts the state takes to protect it.
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