White House and Commerce Department put China’s tech sector on notice

Article Introduction

Last week President Trump signed an executive order Securing the Information and Communications Technology and Services Supply Chain. This prohibits ICT transactions with foreign adversaries posing risks of espionage, sabotage, subversion, or threats to the resiliency of critical infrastructure and digital economy. It directs the Commerce Department to work with federal agencies over 150 days (from publication in the Federal Register) to identify the actors, technologies, and countries to scrutinize as part of the order and to design and negotiate measures to mitigate concerns. This action gives a much needed boost to investigate the supply chain vulnerabilities evident in the US–China Economic and Security Review Commission’s April 2018 report, which highlights supply chain risks from companies reportedly involved with China’s military, nuclear, and/or cyberespionage programs and whose products are prevalent in US markets. These include Lenovo, ZTE (formerly on the list) and Tianma Microelectronics, among others.