Legislation Banning Chinese Technology is Necessary to Protect Hawaiian Information

In late February, it was reported that China is likely behind the unidentified green lights that were seen in the skies over Hawaii. The concern and uncertainty this caused among Hawaiians is warranted and also a reminder that they need to be addressing state vulnerabilities as reports show the PRC is increasingly targeting states as tensions with Washington escalate. The fact that Hawaii spent $15,904,416 on Chinese government-owned technology manufacturers that have already been banned by U.S. military and intelligence agencies is a problem that has a solution.

In a recent report, China Tech Threat discovered that the state of Hawaii spent $15,904,416 on restricted Chinese technology between 2015 and 2023. Our Hawaii fact sheet shows the Department of Human Services and the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations are two agencies that purchased this technology that has been banned due to connections with the PRC government and military. The sensitive information these departments hold are at risk of being obtained by the PRC.

CTT urges the Hawaii Legislature to follow in the footsteps of other states who have taken action. Legislators in over a dozen states have acted to ban state agencies from purchasing and deploying Chinese technology to prevent the exposure of government and citizens’ sensitive information to the Chinese government, including South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem who signed SB 189 into law in March, Idaho Governor Brad Little who signed HB 294 at the beginning of April, and Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders who also signed  HB 1789 into law this month.

Legislation banning state contracts with Chinese technology would put Hawaii on the right track toward securing its sensitive data and Hawiians’ personal information from Chinese surveillance.