Lawmakers Warn China’s Growing Dominance in LiDAR Technology Could Threaten US National Security

'LiDAR is a critical technology used in autonomous systems and robotics but is currently not subject to U.S. export controls.'A bipartisan group of House lawmakers is requesting the Biden administration to investigate all Chinese Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology companies over national security concerns."LiDAR is a critical technology used in autonomous systems and robotics but is currently not subject to U.S. export controls or government procurement restrictions," the 20 lawmakers wrote in a Nov. 28 letter addressed to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.The group, led by House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Chairman Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) and ranking member Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), raised concerns over the rapid expansion of Chinese business in the LiDAR market, saying it poses significant threats to the U.S. military, autonomous systems, robotics, as well as other critical infrastructures.LiDAR is a remote sensing technology that uses laser light to scan and map the surrounding environment. This crucial technology is used in civilian and military applications, making it a dual-use."Given the importance of LiDAR, it is crucial to ensure U.S. technology used in foreign LiDAR systems are not being leveraged by our adversaries to create autonomous military vehicles and weapons," the lawmakers wrote."Urgent action is also needed to stop LiDAR produced by state-backed entities from foreign adversary countries to proliferate in the U.S. market or gain access to U.S. capital markets or U.S. critical infrastructure systems."Related Stories10/24/2023The lawmakers warned that Beijing "considers LiDAR a strategic technology and has called for its development for use in national security and in military industries.""Up until 2018, the global LiDAR market was dominated by U.S. companies, but PRC LiDAR companies are advancing quickly due to the support of CCP industrial policies, including tariffs and subsidies," they said, referring to China’s official name, the People’s Republic of China. The lawmakers cited an example of China's LiDAR firm Hesai Technology, which now takes 47 percent of the global market share of this emerging technology.Notably, the lawmakers warned that "because the U.S. government currently has no security requirements for the procurement of LiDAR technology, there is a significant risk that PRC-made LiDAR are already present in U.S. defense systems and platforms that the U.S. military and its contractors are unaware of."The lawmakers called on three secretaries to investigate the China LiDAR industry and identify entities to include in their restricted lists. They also urged these departments to assess "what specific U.S. technologies should be subject to export controls to China."The Epoch Times has contacted the Commerce, Treasury, and Defense departments for comment. China LiDAR Threats In recent years, the Chinese communist regime has focused more on this emerging technology. In 2020, Beijing classified LiDAR technology as a strategic emerging industry and invested heavily in the sector.This industry is projected to expand rapidly. The global automotive LiDAR market is expected to grow from around $317 million in 2022 to nearly $4.5 billion in 2028, according to an industry report from Yole Group.According to an August Congressional Research Service report, China's LiDAR firms greatly benefit from preferential treatment under the CCP's industrial policies. This includes subsidies, market protections, preferences, and other widely unfair practices."While U.S. and foreign firms have led the LiDAR market with advanced research capabilities and intellectual properties, PRC firms are poised to quickly take a leadership position. PRC industrial policies, acquisitions of U.S. and foreign firms and intellectual properties, and corporate partnerships have already rapidly enhanced PRC firms' position in the LiDAR market, particularly in automotive LiDAR," the report noted.In 2020, Beijing started backing sectors that use LiDAR technology. Since 2022, the regime has promoted foreign investment in its domestic LiDAR market to boost its capabilities. It has also added LiDAR to export control.The report warned that China's "LiDAR firms are using U.S. capital markets to secure financing, enter the U.S. market, negotiate partnerships, and acquire U.S. technology. In 2022, CITIC, a [China] state investment arm, undertook a $1.4 billion reverse merger with the U.S. firm Quanergy Systems."China also has cooperated with U.S. LiDAR research. For example, the report mentioned connections between Tsinghua-Berkeley Shenzhen Institute's photonics and the Sensor & Actuator Center and Marvell Nanolab at the University of California, Berkeley."Chinese companies have also been accused of unlawfully obtaining and using foreign intellectual properties. These combined actions have resulted in a U.S. LiD

Lawmakers Warn China’s Growing Dominance in LiDAR Technology Could Threaten US National Security

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'LiDAR is a critical technology used in autonomous systems and robotics but is currently not subject to U.S. export controls.'

A bipartisan group of House lawmakers is requesting the Biden administration to investigate all Chinese Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology companies over national security concerns.

"LiDAR is a critical technology used in autonomous systems and robotics but is currently not subject to U.S. export controls or government procurement restrictions," the 20 lawmakers wrote in a Nov. 28 letter addressed to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

The group, led by House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Chairman Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) and ranking member Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), raised concerns over the rapid expansion of Chinese business in the LiDAR market, saying it poses significant threats to the U.S. military, autonomous systems, robotics, as well as other critical infrastructures.

LiDAR is a remote sensing technology that uses laser light to scan and map the surrounding environment. This crucial technology is used in civilian and military applications, making it a dual-use.

"Given the importance of LiDAR, it is crucial to ensure U.S. technology used in foreign LiDAR systems are not being leveraged by our adversaries to create autonomous military vehicles and weapons," the lawmakers wrote.

"Urgent action is also needed to stop LiDAR produced by state-backed entities from foreign adversary countries to proliferate in the U.S. market or gain access to U.S. capital markets or U.S. critical infrastructure systems."

The lawmakers warned that Beijing "considers LiDAR a strategic technology and has called for its development for use in national security and in military industries."

"Up until 2018, the global LiDAR market was dominated by U.S. companies, but PRC LiDAR companies are advancing quickly due to the support of CCP industrial policies, including tariffs and subsidies," they said, referring to China’s official name, the People’s Republic of China. The lawmakers cited an example of China's LiDAR firm Hesai Technology, which now takes 47 percent of the global market share of this emerging technology.

Notably, the lawmakers warned that "because the U.S. government currently has no security requirements for the procurement of LiDAR technology, there is a significant risk that PRC-made LiDAR are already present in U.S. defense systems and platforms that the U.S. military and its contractors are unaware of."

The lawmakers called on three secretaries to investigate the China LiDAR industry and identify entities to include in their restricted lists. They also urged these departments to assess "what specific U.S. technologies should be subject to export controls to China."

The Epoch Times has contacted the Commerce, Treasury, and Defense departments for comment.
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China LiDAR Threats

In recent years, the Chinese communist regime has focused more on this emerging technology. In 2020, Beijing classified LiDAR technology as a strategic emerging industry and invested heavily in the sector.
This industry is projected to expand rapidly. The global automotive LiDAR market is expected to grow from around $317 million in 2022 to nearly $4.5 billion in 2028, according to an industry report from Yole Group.
According to an August Congressional Research Service report, China's LiDAR firms greatly benefit from preferential treatment under the CCP's industrial policies. This includes subsidies, market protections, preferences, and other widely unfair practices.

"While U.S. and foreign firms have led the LiDAR market with advanced research capabilities and intellectual properties, PRC firms are poised to quickly take a leadership position. PRC industrial policies, acquisitions of U.S. and foreign firms and intellectual properties, and corporate partnerships have already rapidly enhanced PRC firms' position in the LiDAR market, particularly in automotive LiDAR," the report noted.

In 2020, Beijing started backing sectors that use LiDAR technology. Since 2022, the regime has promoted foreign investment in its domestic LiDAR market to boost its capabilities. It has also added LiDAR to export control.

The report warned that China's "LiDAR firms are using U.S. capital markets to secure financing, enter the U.S. market, negotiate partnerships, and acquire U.S. technology. In 2022, CITIC, a [China] state investment arm, undertook a $1.4 billion reverse merger with the U.S. firm Quanergy Systems."

China also has cooperated with U.S. LiDAR research. For example, the report mentioned connections between Tsinghua-Berkeley Shenzhen Institute's photonics and the Sensor & Actuator Center and Marvell Nanolab at the University of California, Berkeley.

"Chinese companies have also been accused of unlawfully obtaining and using foreign intellectual properties. These combined actions have resulted in a U.S. LiDAR market that is now at risk of foreign takeover," the report warned.