While the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party is investigating how Chinese nationals have gained access to U.S. military installations, China Tech Threat is releasing our own policy memo on an equally concerning issue: How companies substantially owned by Chinese entities have effectively deployed their products inside the Department of Defense.
Over the last decade China has become the United States’ top adversary, increasing their attempted espionage and surveillance against the U.S. government. Despite the known risks presented by Chinese technology companies, state and federal government agencies have continued to have relationships with Chinese owned and operated companies such as Lenovo, Lexmark, Hikvision, and DJI.
As a recent example, the U.S. Navy continues to maintain a relationship with Lenovo, even selling its products through the Navy Exchange. Naval Air Station Oceana, located in Virginia Beach, VA, hosted the 2023 NAS Oceana Air Show on September 16 and 17, 2023. We know that Lenovo was an official sponsor of the Navy Exchange’s (NEX) Gaming Hangar, a forum for the video gaming community.
Chinese tech companies are especially dangerous because of Article 7 of China’s National Intelligence Law, which obligates all businesses registered in China to hand over whatever information the Chinese Ministry of State Security demands of them. This provision creates the potential for Chinese companies to serve as state-directed conduits for cyberattacks, data theft, and surreptitious surveillance.
Immediate action must be taken to protect America from dangerous Chinese tech products. Our memo provides insight to the growing momentum to ban risky Chinese tech products, background on Lenovo’s current relationship with the U.S. government, and four recommended actions:
- Congress should ban the Pentagon from acquiring or selling products made by Chinese-owned and operated companies, or from partnering with them in any way.
- The House Select Committee on the CCP should call the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment to brief Congress on whether (and how) the Pentagon is following up the recommendations made in the 2019 IG report on mitigating risks from commercial off-the-shelf technologies (COTS) made by Chinese-owned or operated firms.
- The Committee should call the DOD’s Chief Information Officer to brief Congress on how the DOD can identify and remove products made by Chinese-owned and operated companies already in its systems.
- With support from the federal government and Congress, states must follow the lead of Georgia, Florida and others – including four states just in 2023 (Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, and South Dakota) – that have restricted PRC-owned companies from bidding on contracts to supply technology to state government entities. (For more information visit www.StatesStopChinaTech.com.)
Read the full memo here: “How A Pentagon-Restricted Chinese Tech Company Has Infiltrated U.S. Navy Bases + Four Recommendations to Fix The Vulnerability”.