MN Spending Millions on Risky China Tech Makes State Vulnerable

Governors in four states have recently signed into law bills to prohibit the purchase of dangerous Chinese technology that has been banned at the federal level. With Minnesota spending more than $4.5 million on this dangerous technology, the state’s lawmakers should follow the lead of 17 other states that have taken action to stop these purchases in recent years. 

As outlined in China Tech Threat’s (CTT) fact sheet, Minnesota spent $4,682,925 on Lexmark, Inc. and Lenovo, Inc. This dangerous Chinese technology is already restricted by U.S. military and intelligence agencies due to its connection to the Chinese government and military. The purchasing agencies include the Department of Human Services, the Board of Public Defense, and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, making sensitive personal data and proprietary information and research vulnerable to Chinese theft. China’s 2017 National Intelligence Law obligates Lexmark and Lenovo to cooperate with any Chinese government directive to hand over information in their possession. (Read more about Lexmark, Lenovo and three other dangerous Chinese government-owned tech manufacturers in our February briefing paper.)

Action to protect Minnesota’s data is crucial. South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem signed SB 189 into law in March, Idaho Governor Brad Little signed HB 294 and Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed HB 1789 in April, and, most recently, on May 1 Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed SB 477

CTT will continue to monitor the threats to Minnesota’s sensitive data with the hopes that its legislators will mimic the efforts of lawmakers across the country working to bolster their states’ defenses against threats posed by dangerous Chinese technology. 

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