A group of nine Republican senators are now calling on President Joe Biden and the members of his administration to bring some hard and heavy sanctions and export restrictions on Huawei, along with other Chinese based cloud computing companies, for their assisting the Communist Party.
“The move comes as tensions between the United States and China escalate over several espionage efforts from the communist nation, including a spy balloon that traversed the continental United States and reports of social media platform TikTok collecting data on American citizens. The lawmakers, led by Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN), contend that multiple cloud services based in China threaten “national security and economic security,'” the Daily Wire reported.
“We urge you to use all available tools to engage in decisive action against these firms, through sanctions, export restrictions, and investment bans, and to further investigate PRC cloud computing service companies,” the letter, which was sent out to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, went on to say.
The group of GOP lawmakers stated that the cloud service being offered by Huawei has been aiding Chinese officials by helping them to “identify individuals by voice, monitor political dissidents, manage ideological reeducation and labor schedules for prisoners, and help retailers use facial recognition to track shoppers.” The White House launched a probe into Huawei due to concerns that American cell towers that use the company’s devices were actually gathering and transmitting data on nearby military facilities to the Chinese Communist Party. Given that big freaking balloon that flew across the middle of the country collecting information on our military installations, none of this would be shocking. China continues to prove they are a massive threat to our economic and national security interests.
“The firm also cooperates with Changsha Tianyi Space Science and Technology Research Institute for an initiative called Spacety, which the Treasury Department recently sanctioned for providing radar data from Ukraine to a Russian state corporation. The Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, another partner in the Spacety initiative, is known to assist with weapons research and development for the People’s Liberation Army,” the report added.
“In light of this, we therefore urge you to impose sanctions on Huawei Cloud under existing authorities for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of recently-sanctioned Spacety,” the letter added, which was also signed by lawmakers such as Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT).
Another popular company, Alibaba Cloud, which has two data centers located in Silicon Valley, is also “widely known” for providing services to the Chinese Communist Party. The nine Senators have called for this company to be included along with Huwaei Cloud on the Entity List, which then subjects the firm to export licensure requirements, asking for officials to stop “liberally” giving export licenses to Alibaba Cloud, as the Commerce Department is alleged to have done in times past.
“Officials in the Trump administration introduced trade restrictions against Megvii, an artificial intelligence image recognition venture backed by Alibaba, for reportedly assisting the Chinese Communist Party with enabling the mass detention and surveillance of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other minority groups,” the report stated.
The report concluded by saying, “Biden administration officials have unveiled sanctions against several Chinese firms over the past two years: President Joe Biden recently signed legislation banning TikTok from all devices owned by the federal government, while Raimondo moved to prevent funds allocated by the CHIPS and Science Act from helping with the development of semiconductors in China and other adversarial nations. The Federal Communications Commission released a final rule last year which bans Huawei, ZTE, Hikvision, and Dahua from importing and selling certain products that the agency considers a threat to national security, although the new prohibition does not apply to technology already within American borders.”
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