U.S. Tech Giants May Blur National Security Boundaries in China Deals

The New York Times

HONG KONG — One Chinese technology company receives crucial technical guidance from a former People’s Liberation Army rear admiral. Another company developed the electronics on China’s first atomic bomb. A third sells technology to China’s air-to-air missile research academy.

Their ties to the Chinese military run deep, and they all have something else in common: Each Chinese company counts one of America’s tech giants — IBM, Cisco Systems or Microsoft — as a partner.

Such links, which are generally not well publicized, are now at the center of a debate among some in the American defense community, including former United States military officials, analysts and others. While the cross-border partnerships, under which American tech companies share, license or jointly develop advanced technologies with Chinese counterparts, are a growth area for business, security experts are increasingly questioning whether the deals harm United States national security.

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