New Chinese tech companies under the suspicion of breach of security and privacy.


Two leading Republicans on the House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday raised
concerns about security and privacy concerns has been raised by two leading Republicans on
the House Homeland Security Committee over the threats posed by emerging Chinese tech
companies, specifically zeroing in on electronics group Xiaomi.
Committee ranking member John Katko (R-N.Y.) and Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-N.Y.), the
top Republican on the panel’s cybersecurity subcommittee, sent a letter to Commerce
Secretary Gina Raimondo and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro
Mayorkas highlighting concerns over the increasing Chinese threats in the information
technology space.
“The security of our nation’s information and communications technology (ICT) supply
chain is critical to nearly every aspect of our lives,” Katko and Garbarino wrote. “Over the
past several years, we have seen an alarming increase in threats to our ICT supply chain from
the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). They have been engaged in a multi-decade effort to lie,
cheat, and steal their way to global dominance, in part by compromising our ICT backbone.”
The lawmakers raised questions over whether new Chinese companies could seek to take the
place of telecom giant Huawei, which was largely blocked from doing business in the U.S. by
the Trump administration due to concerns stemming from its alleged ties to the Chinese
government.“Our committee remains concerned about how your respective departments plan to address
new and emerging Chinese companies seeking to fill the Huawei void,” Katko and Garbarino
wrote. “We simply cannot allow more nefarious Chinese ICT products to enter U.S.
The lawmakers zeroed in on Chinese electronics group Xiaomi, which manufacturers mobile
devices and laptops, among other products, with Katko and Garbarino noting they were
“alarmed” at the potential for the company to fill the “Huawei void” in the United States.
“We share grave concerns that Xiaomi poses a significant threat to the privacy of any of its
users through its lineup of smartphones, laptops, smart watches, and other consumer-facing
products,” the lawmakers wrote. “In many ways, data has become the modern-day currency
of homeland security and we must take threats to the data integrity of the free world
The lawmakers asked that both Raimondo and Mayorkas outline steps their agencies are
taking to secure the supply chain of critical information technologies and whether there were
any plans to limit Xiaomi’s presence in the U.S. market.
Huawei, alongside several other leading Chinese companies, was added to the Commerce
Department’s “entity list” under the Trump administration, effectively blacklisting the
A spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security told The Hill that the agency
“responds to Congressional correspondence through official channels.” The Commerce
Department did not respond to a request for comment.
A spokesperson for Xiaomi told The Hill in a statement that “Xiaomi is a consumer
electronics company that offers a broad range of consumer products designed for civilian and
commercial use. Xiaomi does not make any infrastructure or telecommunication equipment
that are part of the ICT supply chain.”
The spokesperson noted that the one of the founders of the company is a U.S. citizen, and
that “Xiaomi is a privately-owned, publicly-traded company with a multi-national board of
“Xiaomi upholds high standards for protecting the privacy of user data,” the spokesperson
said. “Although we have not sold any smartphones, laptops, or smart watches in the United
States, for all other regions we conduct business, including Europe, Asia, Middle East,
Africa, and Latin America, our data protection practice conforms to top standards and
adheres to local rules. For instance, we have routinely passed third-party’s audits to verify the
effectiveness of security measures.”
Concerns around Chinese technology have grown in recent years, with lawmakers on both
sides of the aisle pointing to an intelligence law that requires Chinese companies to provide
data to the Chinese government.
Former President Trump took a hard-line stance against China, while President Biden has
vowed to push back against China on issues around technology.Raimondo last week told reporters that Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, is
currently leading a review of Huawei and other Chinese tech companies to determine how the
new administration would proceed.
“We have to level the playing field. No one can outcompete the American worker if the
playing field is level,” Raimondo told reporters during a White House press briefing.
“China’s actions are uncompetitive, coercive, underhanded. They have proven they will do
whatever it takes, and so I plan to use all the tools in my toolbox as aggressively as possible
to protect American workers and businesses from unfair Chinese practices.”

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