Experts question whether China has technical know-how to pull off chip hack – SCMP

What happened: Chinese technology experts have expressed their doubts about China’s capabilities in pulling off a spy chip hack as detailed in a Bloomberg Businessweek report last week. Chinese manufacturers were allegedly able to install microchips on Super Micro Computer motherboards that were later sold to be used in the servers of 30 US companies, including Apple and Amazon. However, experts have said that it would be near impossible for the country to incorporate all the required components onto a chip as small as the report alleges.

Why it’s important: Chips are a key part of the country’s “Made in China 2025” initiative. However, an increasing number of commenters have expressed doubts about China’s general technological prowess. In June, Chinese media outlets were ordered to downplay reporting on its technological development drive. The order coincided with Liu Yadong, editor of the Science and Technology Daily, saying authorities had been fooled by the hype surrounding China’s achievements. However, these comments may also have ulterior motives, whether it be trying to diffuse a trade war or mitigate possible fallout in the event of a high profile hack, all of which should be taken into consideration.

Christopher Udemans is TechNode's former Shanghai-based data and graphics reporter. He covered Chinese artificial intelligence, mobility, cleantech, and cybersecurity.

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