Mississippi State Auditor Issues China Tech Spending Warning, Legislators Respond

In January, Mississippi State Auditor Shad White warned in the Sun Herald that government offices in his state “may be buying dangerous Chinese technology.” A recent China Tech Threat (CTT) analysis confirms there is cause for concern within findings that show Mississippi spent more than $400,000 on dangerous technology from Lexmark and Lenovo between 2018 and 2022. As detailed in the fact sheet here, this dangerous technology restricted by the federal government is being used in state agencies including the Division of Medicaid, the Department of Rehabilitation Services and the Administrative Office of the Supreme Court. Personal health and medical data, as well as highly sensitive judicial and financial information, are made vulnerable to Chinese espionage by the use of… Read More

ME Bill To Prohibit Chinese Technology Comes As Research Reveals State Spending Millions on Dangerous Tech

On March 21, the Maine State Legislature will hold a hearing on a bill to ban the purchase of risky Chinese technology from manufacturers in the Pine Tree state. Introduced by Senator Lisa Keim, An Act to Prohibit State Contracts with Companies Owned or Operated by the Government of the People’s Republic of China (LD877) comes as new research reveals that Maine has spent more than $5 million on risky Chinese technology from Lenovo, which has already been restricted by the federal government. These $5 million in Lenovo purchases were made by the Bureau of Information Services, but the technology has likely been distributed throughout state agencies (unlike other states, Maine does not disclose where purchased technology is being used).… Read More

West Virginia Must Protect State Data In Addition To Land When It Comes To PRC Threats

West Virginia State Auditor JB McCuskey recently introduced legislation to protect West Virginians and their property from the People’s Republic of China (PRC). As reported by the WTRF, this legislation proposes adding the PRC to a growing list of countries banned from buying natural resources, farmland, and property from the state of West Virginia. While this bill serves as a productive start to limiting threats from the PRC, the state of West Virginia’s data remains at risk.  China Tech Threat revealed the state of West Virginia spent $482,606 on restricted Chinese technology from Lexmark, Inc and Lenovo, Inc between 2016 and 2023. Technology products by these two Chinese government-owned technology manufacturers have been banned by U.S. military and intelligence agencies… Read More

Utah Spent $34 Million on Risky Chinese Tech, Time For State To Take Action

In February, Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, urged the Biden Administration to implement recently passed bipartisan legislation requiring the US to develop a comprehensive strategy addressing the China threat, stating, “it drives me nuts to watch us deal with China.” This is not just an issue to be dealt with in the halls of Congress.  Between 2018 and 2021, Sen. Romney’s home state of Utah has spent more than $34 million on risky Chinese technology from Lenovo, including for the Attorney General’s Office. (Read the Fact Sheet on Utah’s spending here.) Unfortunately, Utah’s $34 million expense triples the expense from just a few years ago, when our prior report indicated that the state spent $11 million between 2016-2020. (See our March… Read More

Advanced! Advanced! Advanced! What About Legacy Chips?

If you watch what comes out of the Commerce Department on semiconductors – especially as it relates to CHIPS and export controls – you’ll notice an emphasis on advanced and leading edge chips. The U.S. aims to be the “premier destination” for leading edge chips and has “been intentional” about limiting China’s access to advanced chipmaking equipment. But what seems like an almost exclusive concentration on leading edge chips highlights two problems: First, all chips matter. Advanced and leading edge chips are no doubt important, but we can’t forget about legacy chips. These critical chips are in automobiles, planes, home appliances, medical devices, military systems, and more. A new report from CSIS underscores their strategic importance:  “Despite the name, legacy… Read More

HFAC Hearing Recap: McCaul Calls Out BIS on SMIC, Estevez Offers Mixed Bag on New Export Controls

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul wasted no time yesterday in taking a hard line on the Bureau of Industry and Security’s (BIS) approach to Chinese semiconductor firm Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC). Said McCaul: “In just one recent six-month time period, BIS approved licenses worth $60 billion to Huawei and $40 billion to SMIC, their semiconductor company. Both of these companies are military companies for the CCP. And both are listed on the Entity List. BIS continues to mindlessly greenlight sensitive technology sales, and the CCP has proven they will use our own inventions against us.” McCaul’s broadside against SMIC is justified, since researchers such as James Mulvenon have definitively connected SMIC to the Chinese military. To his… Read More

Multiple News Outlets Describe How PRC Tech State Purchases Put All Americans at Risk

“When it comes to defending America from the Chinese Communist Party, Sacramento and Bismarck are no less a locus of competition than Shanghai and Beijing,” China Tech Threat principal and retired U.S. Army Major General James “Spider” Marks wrote in a recent Newsweek op-ed. The column focused on China Tech Threat’s new report that details hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. state government purchases of Chinese-owned and operated Lexmark and Lenovo equipment, which have been banned or restricted from U.S. military and national security networks.  For more on China Tech Threat’s new report, check out the Axios coverage which cited the report’s finding that as of March 2020, “only one U.S. state restricted contracts with Chinese-owned or operated tech manufacturers. Today five states have laws or restrictions governing state contracts, with 11 additional… Read More

New China Tech Threat Paper Details Hundreds of Millions of Dollars in U.S. State Government Purchases of Lexmark and Lenovo Equipment

On Thursday, China Tech Threat released a report rife with new research into how 28 U.S. states have created massive vulnerabilities for their citizens by purchasing at least $230 million worth of technology made by Chinese-owned and operated companies Lexmark and Lenovo since 2015.  While the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is capable of exploiting many kinds of technology to spy on Americans, steal from them, or commit cyberattacks, Chinese companies are especially dangerous because of the CCP’s 2017 National Intelligence Law, which obligates Chinese companies to turn over any information Beijing demands. That puts Americans’ financial, personal, and health data at risk, in addition to sensitive organizational and government data. .kb-image_7275e7-74.kb-image-is-ratio-size, .kb-image_7275e7-74 .kb-image-is-ratio-size{max-width:400px;width:100%;}.kb-image_7275e7-74 figure{max-width:400px;}.kb-image_7275e7-74 .image-is-svg, .kb-image_7275e7-74 .image-is-svg img{width:100%;} The report’s… Read More

U.S. Ready to Double Down on Huawei, Why Not SMIC?

The Biden administration is reportedly considering cutting Huawei, a well-known Chinese telecom giant with “inextricable ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP),” off from American suppliers, including the likes of Intel and Qualcomm. As a precursor, the Commerce Department is said to have told some American companies it will no longer issue licenses for U.S. tech exports to the CCP-backed company. At the end of last year, Huawei declared “business as usual” despite U.S. export controls and is believed to be backing projects in China for an “import-independent semiconductor supply chain.” Martijn Rasser, a technology expert at CNAS, described the Biden administration’s action on Huawei as a “really significant move.” He added, “The actions by the Commerce Department are partly… Read More

Despite U.S. Export Controls, SMIC Posts Record Revenue

Last week, China’s largest chipmaker, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC), recorded record revenue with $7.2 billion in earnings and said it’s moving forward with expansion plans despite uncertainty in the industry. For the second year in a row, SMIC’s earnings rose over 30% despite ongoing U.S. sanctions and export controls. Contrast that with fellow Chinese chip bellwether YMTC, which has faced significant headwinds since its placement on the Entity List late last year. Several reports point to the state-owned chipmaker laying off employees, dramatically slashing equipment orders, and potentially halting expansion plans. What gives SMIC an edge? As Nikkei Asia reports, “Capital expenditure will mainly be spent on expanding capacity for mature, or older generations, of chips and on infrastructure… Read More