BIS is on the Clock: Experts Assess Export Controls, Effectiveness with Regard to China

We have 7 DAYS left in the BIS Countdown that started on October 7 when the Bureau issued long-awaited export controls targeting Chinese chipmakers. Will YMTC, a national champion chipmaker, and others on the Unverified List (UVL) allow for and pass end-use checks, or will they get put on the Entity List? That’s one of our big questions. Earlier this month, Roslyn Layton hosted a virtual event to dive into the new export controls and related issues with Nazak Nikakhtar (Partner and National Security Co-Chair, Wiley; former Department of Commerce Lead on CFIUS) and Dustin Carmack (Research Fellow, Heritage Foundation). They discussed the impact of the controls on China’s semiconductor capabilities, the Apple-YMTC relationship, and how the new Congress should… Read More

CTT Quick Cut Wrap Up: Experts Assess Implications of Export Controls for YMTC, Apple

The U.S. is at a key moment with its China-focused export control policy. On October 7, the Commerce Department issued a slew of new regulations targeting China’s semiconductor industry, triggering a crucial 60-day period when Commerce Department will decide whether to add firms like YMTC and CXMT to the Entity List. Meanwhile, a new Congress looks poised to exert pressure on Commerce to maintain a tough stance, with the potential new chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Michael McCaul, saying he will be “focused like a laser on export control issues.” And the New York Times wants to know if Apple will permanently step back from a dangerous Apple-YMTC deal, but Apple hasn’t yet commented. On November 15, CTT’s… Read More

Georgetown’s CSET Scrutinizes State Spending on Banned Foreign Tech Threats

CSET Joins Heritage and China Tech Threat in Calling for State Procurement Restrictions In July 2019, the Department of Defense Inspector General published a report exposing $30+ million in military spending on commercial over-the-shelf products such as Lexmark printers and Lenovo computers. These companies are dangerous, among other reasons, because they give the Chinese government a potential access point to sensitive data. Early the next year, China Tech Threat conducted a thorough review of state contracts and spending on both companies, confirming that about 40 states purchased products from Lenovo and Lexmark. Today Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET) published a new study that extends and expands on China Tech Threat’s earlier work. “Banned in D.C.: Examining… Read More

New U.S. Export Controls Complicate Xi’s Tech Ambitions

Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping’s two-hour speech to the 20th CCP Party Congress on October 16th didn’t contain too many surprises. If anything, it’s clear Xi remains committed to stiff competition with the West for control of the commanding heights of modern technologies. That control will be harder to obtain in light of the new export controls the Commerce Department issued on October 7th. Held every five years, the Party Congress gives CCP leaders a chance to set priorities for the Party. In one key passage, Xi stated, “To meet China’s strategic needs, we will concentrate resources on original and pioneering scientific and technological research to achieve breakthroughs in core technologies in key fields.” Presumably, semiconductors would be… Read More

Bipartisan Group of Senators Urges U.S. Intelligence Community to Investigate YMTC’s Risks to National Security

Last week Senators John Cornyn, Marco Rubio, Charles Schumer, and Mark Warner sent a letter to Director of Intelligence Avril Hanes warning about the national security threat of Chinese memory chip maker YMTC and its impending partnership with Apple. Seizing on the growing awareness that Apple is preparing to put YMTC chips in the iPhone 14, the Senators noted that, “Such a decision would introduce significant privacy and security vulnerabilities to the global digital supply chain that Apple helps shape given YMTC’s extensive, but often opaque, ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and concerning PRC-backed entities.” This letter is especially timely in light of recent congressional efforts to support the American semiconductor industry through the CHIPS Act. Spending billions… Read More

Florida Adopts Toughest Rules yet to Protect People and Organizations from Chinese Government Intrusion.

Yesterday Florida governor Ron DeSantis released Executive Order 22-216 to counter Chinese government intrusion in Florida’s computer networks. Noting the critical security threat detailed by national defense authorities and the actions taken to secure federal networks, Governor DeSantis took the step to secure Florida’s state and local government networks by preventing the exposure of government information and technology services and systems in Florida to the Chinese government. China Tech Threat (CTT) has detailed the important efforts to protect people and enterprises whose data is held within state government. Just last week, CTT was in Florida at a James Madison Institute tech summit discussing threats to Florida and actions that leaders intend to take to secure Florida’s residents, businesses and infrastructure.… Read More

New Heritage Foundation Report: Chinese Technology Infiltrating State Governments

Michael Cunningham of the Heritage Foundation has written an excellent new report: “Why State Legislatures Must Confront Chinese Infiltration.” The report covers myriad Chinese influence and intrusion activities taking place inside the U.S. One of the reports key imperatives is, “Preventing companies linked to the Chinese government from obtaining contracts to build critical infrastructure or supply technology to state government organizations.” Cunningham elaborates on the dangers of state governments letting Chinese-owned companies into their systems: When Americans allow firms controlled by a geopolitical rival to build their critical infrastructure, they practically invite the Chinese to embed vulnerabilities they can exploit in times of conflict. When Americans procure technology from a geopolitical foe, they invite that foe inside the systems used… Read More

ALEC Passes Model Policy to Restrict State Contracts with Chinese Government-Owned Tech Companies

China Tech Threat co-Founder Dr. Roslyn Layton served as an expert advisor at the 49th Annual Meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in Atlanta this week, explaining to state lawmakers China’s strategy to infiltrate state governments through the purchase of risky technology embedded in state level networks.   Conference members considered and approved a model policy introduced by Georgia State Representative Martin Momtahan to help states restrict the purchase of risky technology. The model is based on a bill Rep. Momtahan led in Georgia and Governor Brian Kemp signed into law in May 2022. During his presentation, Rep. Momtahan emphasized China’s escalating strategy to target state lawmakers as part of its influence campaign. Legislators unanimously approved the legislation in both the International Relations and Commerce… Read More

Silicon Sellout Report: Why Apple is Making a Deal with Chinese Semiconductor Manufacturer YMTC

Today, the Coalition for a Prosperous America and China Tech Threat have released Silicon Sellout, a new report detailing how Apple’s decision to use chips made by Chinese semiconductor manufacturer YMTC threatens to harm Americans’ security and privacy and reshape the global semiconductor market in China’s favor.  To recap: Right now Apple has entered into an agreement with YMTC to source YMTC chips for the iPhone. This deal will have serious negative consequences for both Americans and the world: It will concentrate more chip production inside China at a time when supply chains are already vulnerable to Chinese lockdowns and government diktats. It will create major security and privacy risks to Apple users all over the world. It will increase… Read More

Is BIS Edging Closer to Putting YMTC on the Entity List?

Is BIS Edging Closer to Putting YMTC on the Entity List? The Information reports that the U.S. Department of Commerce is weighing restrictions on the sale of semiconductor manufacturing equipment (SME) to YMTC, China’s national champion semiconductor manufacturer known to have close ties with the Chinese military. These restrictions, which would also reportedly apply to other state-backed firms such as Hua Hong Semiconductor and ChangXin Memory Technologies, would deal a blow to YMTC’s ability to produce chips, and secure a victory for American national security. The rules, which reportedly take months to develop, would echo the decision the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) made in 2020 to place China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation on the Entity List… Read More