UPDATED 9:34 AM PT — Thursday, September 12, 2019
The Defense Department is composing a list of companies with ties to the Chinese military. The Pentagon is reportedly identifying Chinese companies and organizations with direct or indirect links to Beijing. The move aims to reduce the chances of U.S. weapons supply chains from being compromised, and to ensure the Chinese military is not benefiting from government sales.
Sources say the Pentagon intends to tackle companies with suspected relations to the People’s Liberation Army by levying tariffs. This comes as the Trump administration has ramped up efforts to stop China from obtaining sensitive technologies.
Back in May, President Trump blacklisted Chinese telecommunications company Huawei over intellectual theft and potential threats to national security. Huawei’s connection to the communist government raised concerns it’s equipment could be used to spy on the U.S. and other countries.
On Tuesday, the tech giant’s U.S. chief security officer, Donald Purdy, attempted to alleviate security concerns at a telecom conference in Budapest. He had this to say:
“We don’t control the data. We don’t control the equipment any more. Our networks don’t touch the customer networks, so this issue about China forcing us to turn over data…the fact is that we need written permission from the telecom operators every time we touch the network and everything we do with those special laptops is recorded. So, there is complete transparency. So, if we were going to give something to the China government, whether its forced or voluntary, the customers would know.”
Talks between Huawei and the Trump administration will reportedly continue after a trade deal between Beijing and Washington is reached.