January 2021 Newsletter

Coming Soon: Report on Chinese Government IT Vendors And The Threat To U.S. Banks.

A cyber attack on a bank can devastate its customers and systems, and a cyber attack on the US Treasury—which SolarWinds came dangerously close to achieving—could bring down the country. Despite the major investment by US banks in cybersecurity and many policy efforts of the US government, our report will analyze how IT products and services from Chinese government owned vendors are making US banks vulnerable and include a strategy to mitigate these threats. 

Commerce Department Security Position In The Spotlight.

The Financial Times and Wall Street Journal recently reported on potential candidates for a little-known Commerce Department post that is quickly rising in prominence on the front line of strategic trade control and U.S.-China policy. In a new Forbes column, Dr. Roslyn Layton, explains the rise in relevance of the Commerce Department Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and what it signifies. “As the agency charged with enforcing the export controls on strategic technologies, BIS is no less important today than a senior role at the Departments of Defense or State,” wrote Layton. “Whoever is named to BIS, Biden will have a bureau with leverage, and who he nominates will show how he intends to use it.”  

NH FOIA Report Shows Continued State Use Of Restricted Chinese Technology.

The latest installments of China Tech Threat’s ongoing state FOIA project revealed that New Hampshire has spent more than $1 million in restricted Chinese technology. The use of the dangerous technology by the state’s Department of Information Technology, Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Education shows the level of sensitive, personal data of Granite State residents that is now at risk. 

Semiconductors Are “New Oil” In Tech World. 

In a Forbes column, contributor Ken Rapoza highlights a February report by investment research firm TS Lombard which found that the acceleration of the “internet of things” forever moves semiconductors ahead of oil as the world’s key commodity for growth and semiconductors are “the vortex of the U.S. China rivalry.” Rapoza quotes Dr. Roslyn Layton in his column: “The reason China is not as far along yet is because the supply of sensitive and dual-use advanced semiconductor manufacturing equipment is restricted internationally to make sure it doesn’t go to military users or uses in China. The country is moving quickly to close the gap in design and manufacturing of their own chips. They want to be self-sufficient and eliminate foreign competition.” 

New China IT Ministry Is Consistent WIth Central Planning Tendencies, Layton Warns.

An Inside U.S. Trade article on China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology’s announcement that it would create a semiconductor standards committee, features analysis by Dr. Roslyn Layton. She told Inside U.S. Trade that the creation of the committee is consistent with China’s central-planning tendencies, and warned that if China is successful in advancing the domestic manufacturing of low-end chips, it could flood the global market and depress the price for some higher-quality semiconductors. 

Chinese Communist Party Hiding Behind Known Brands Like Lenovo, GE And Motorola. A Parliamentary Intelligence-Security Forum (PI-SF) webinar earlier this month elevated threats from China’s 5G ambitions with danger from more than just Huawei, but also from companies such as Lenovo, GE and Motorola. As one panelist put it, “The Chinese Communist Party is hiding behind its vendors.” For more on how products that have long been thought of as U.S.-made may actually support the Chinese government and compromise buyers’ personal data, visit our video featuring Dr. Roslyn Layton.