South Dakota Bill To Prohibit Dangerous China Tech Signed Into Law

On March 22, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem signed into law SB 189 that prohibits purchasing agencies from contracting with companies owned or controlled by certain foreign entities or governments, including China. The bill received broad support, receiving only 2 votes against it in the Senate. 

At the bill signing ceremony, the bill’s original sponsor Senator Jim Stalzer cited China Tech Threat’s research that found that between 2016 and 2022, the state of South Dakota spent $29,808 on Chinese technology from Lexmark and Lenovo that is restricted or banned by the federal government. The research also revealed the technology is used by government agencies that hold sensitive information, including the National Guard Armory and the Division of Criminal Investigation. The continuation of use of restricted Chinese government-owned technology puts the private data and financial information of citizens at risk. 

“We hold a lot of private information that it’s extremely dangerous if it gets into the wrong hands,” Noem said. “We’ve taken steps to make sure it’s going to be safe, but we’re also going to take steps to make sure we don’t allow the wrong people to access it.”

“These two companies, being owned by China, collect data and the Chinese law says that any data they collect is property of the Chinese Communist Party,” Rep. Stalzer added.

South Dakota is one of nearly a dozen states taking action to take similar action to protect residents, businesses, infrastructure and government agencies in their state.