Shanghai-based ZPMC says cargo cranes don’t pose cybersecurity risk at US ports | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

A seagull sits on a buoy near cranes at the Port of Baltimore October 14, 2021, in Baltimore, Maryland, the US. Photo: VCG

Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co (ZPMC), a major global maker of ship-to-shore cargo cranes, said in a statement on Sunday that its cranes do not pose a cybersecurity risk to any port, responding to the US government’s reported plan to invest billions in its own cargo cranes to replace ZPMC cranes.

The company said that it takes the concerns of the US into serious consideration, while the US government allegations about its products, not supported by the facts, could easily mislead the general public. ZPMC has strictly abided by the laws and regulations of relevant countries and regions and is operating in compliance with local laws.

Industry observers said that the so-called cybersecurity threat was categorically groundless, and it will be difficult to replace China-made cranes across ports in the US due to the high cost of localization.

The Biden administration plans to invest billions of dollars in America’s own manufacturing of cargo cranes, amid the government’s narrative that the prevalent use of China-built cranes with advanced software at many US ports could pose a potential “national security risk,” the Wall Street Journal reported on February 21.

US wages have been increasing, so the cost of human labor has been rising fast, especially for American manufacturing enterprises planning to build plants there, Hu Qimu, a deputy secretary-general of the digital-real economies integration Forum 50, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Hu said that the US ports can hardly find products with comparable prices and performances as the high-quality and inexpensive cranes that are manufactured by Chinese companies like ZPMC.

Hu said that the US allegation was just political hype. “US port data is usually publicized by the US customs authority, and there is no point for China to monitor those data,” he said.

Wang Yiwei, director of the Institute of International Affairs at the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times on Sunday that the US is struggling to rebuild its manufacturing sector but it always blames the difficulty on China.

“China has the world’s largest shipping industry, most powerful capacity for shipbuilding  and related equipment, and is the major trade partner of more than 140 countries and regions, so it will be very difficult and costly to move away from Chinese supplies,” said Wang.

Chinese officials have firmly rejected the “China threat” hype by the US. 

Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry, said in January that some US politicians have been blowing up a bubble of the “China threat,” while exposing their real aim of suppressing China’s development in the name of national security. 

Two US congressional committees have looked into Swiss engineering group ABB’s operations in China, regarding the installation of ABB equipment by ZPMC on ship-to-shore cranes bound for the US.

“If China-made cranes are alleged to have national security risks for the US, it means US-made Tesla electric cars and iPhones are also transmitting Chinese users’data back to the US,” Hu noted.


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