President Biden Takes Action to Boost American Crane Production and Enhance Cybersecurity in Ports Amid Chinese Espionage Concerns

In the US, there is concern about Chinese cranes due to espionage fears, while in Israel there is apathy

President Joe Biden has stirred up a global commotion in the port industry with his decision to invest NIS 20 billion in local crane production and to expand the authority of American authorities to investigate cyber security issues in port infrastructures. This move came after reports surfaced that modems used for communication and data collection on top of cranes from a leading Chinese manufacturer had been discovered.

The Chinese company ZPMC, based in Shanghai and dominating over 70% of the world market for port cranes, vehemently denied any wrongdoing and claimed to comply with the laws and regulations of relevant countries. However, an investigation by the Committee on Homeland Security in the US uncovered communication means without a clear purpose in ZPMC cranes, raising concerns about potential espionage or disruption in supply chains.

In response to these revelations, President Biden handed over the responsibility of handling cyber security in ports to the US Coast Guard and initiated an approximately 20 billion dollar investment in a new American-made infrastructure program for sea ports over five years. Despite these measures, concerns persist about the potential risks associated with Chinese-made cranes and their capabilities.

In Israel, discussions around Chinese involvement in the country’s ports have sparked controversy, with conflicting opinions from experts and decision makers. While some voiced concerns about security risks and the need to replace Chinese electronic systems with more secure European ones, others downplayed the potential threats and emphasized the economic benefits of using Chinese cranes.

Overall, the issue of cyber security in port infrastructures remains a topic of debate, with different perspectives on the risks and benefits of utilizing Chinese-made equipment. As global trade continues to rely on efficient port operations, ensuring the security and reliability of port infrastructure will be crucial for the future.

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