China is using nine satellites orbiting satellites built by Boeing and Maxar Technologies owned by SSL and funded by the investment firm Carlyle Group to strengthen the capacity of the Chinese government, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
The US "urges businesses to take stringent security measures to ensure that their business activities do not contribute to China's human rights abuses," the WSJ said in a statement.
The key to circumventing these trade laws is a Hong Kong-based company called "Asia Satellite Telecommunications," the report jointly owned by the Carlyle Group and the state-controlled Chinese Citic Group. The report explained how AsiaSat was able to buy satellites from Boeing and SSL, while Carlyle provided compliance reports to the US government. In return, Citic Group sold some AsiaSat satellite services to Chinese government operators. The use of these services ranged from propaganda telecommunications to communication with Chinese soldiers at remote outposts.
Boeing said to CNBC in a statement that the company "follows the leadership of the US government regarding the use of export-controlled goods". 19659003] Citic said the satellites were used to help Chinese police fight protests in Tibet and Xinjiang. China's intelligence agency, the Ministry of State Security, is reportedly listed among Citic's "emergency response" users. AsiaSat told the WSJ that it did not know how the Chinese authorities used satellite capabilities in response to protests and that the company was unable to see what was being broadcast.
Boeing built a tenth satellite that would help the Chinese version of China GPS satellites, a navigation system that can be used both civilian and military. Boeing told the WSJ that the development of this latest satellite is on hold.
The full report of the Wall Street Journal can be found here.