HONG KONG — China is investing in Silicon Valley start-ups with military applications at such a rapid rate that the United States government needs tougher controls to stem the transfer of some of America’s most promising technologies, a Pentagon report says.
香港——五角大楼的一份报告称,中国对技术可供军用的硅谷初创公司的投资速度如此之快,美国政府需要采取更严厉的管控措施,遏制美国前景最看好的一些技术的转让。
There are few restrictions on investing in American start-ups that focus on artificial intelligence, self-driving vehicles and robotics, the report contends, and China has taken advantage. Beijing, the report says, is encouraging its companies to invest for the purpose of pushing the country ahead in its strategic competition with the United States.
该报告认为,中国利用了对侧重人工智能、自动驾驶汽车和机器人的美国初创企业进行投资几乎不受限制这一点。报告还说,北京正在鼓励企业进行以推动中国在与美国的战略竞争中领先为目的的投资。
In some instances, Chinese companies have made under-the-radar investments intended to dodge the oversight of a government agency, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, known as Cfius.
在某些情况下,中国企业的投资低调神秘,以避开政府机构——美国外国投资委员会(Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States,简称Cfius)的监管。
“If we allow China access to these same technologies concurrently, then not only may we lose our technological superiority, but we may even be facilitating China’s technological superiority,” the report says.
“如果允许中国同时掌握上述技术,我们不仅可能会失去技术优势,甚至还可能是在为中国取得技术优势提供便利,”该报告说。
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Such concerns show that China is looming in America’s rearview mirror after a decades-long campaign by Beijing to close the technological gap between the two countries. Although the race is often cast in an economic light, the Pentagon report underlines the national security threat.
这种担忧表明,在北京为缩小两国之间的技术差距而开展了一场历时十年的行动后,中国在美国的后视镜中越来越近。尽管这场竞赛常常表现在经济领域,但五角大楼的报告突显了它在国家安全上的威胁。
In recent years, China has combined domestic subsidies with aggressive investment overseas to build its own technological know-how. A government plan, “Made in China 2025,” that proposes lavishing state funds on 10 important industries has raised concerns from American and European business groups. Meanwhile, the global semiconductor industry has been shaken by Beijing-backed investment aimed at acquiring new microchip knowledge.
近年来,中国把国内补贴和咄咄逼人的海外投资相结合,以构建自己的专业技术。名为《中国制造2025》的计划提议国家为十个重要行业提供大量资金,这引起了美国和欧洲商业团体的担忧。与此同时,全球半导体行业已经被北京支持的投资所动摇。这些投资旨在获取新的微芯片知识
President Trump has said he would resist Chinese trade tactics that put American companies at a disadvantage, though it is unclear whether the topic has come up in meetings with President Xi Jinping of China that began on Thursday and continue Friday.
特朗普总统曾表示,他会抵抗中国让美国企业处于不利地位的贸易策略,但尚不清楚这个话题是否出现在了他与中国国家主席习近平的会谈中。会谈于周四开始,一直持续到周五。
The report found that increasingly sophisticated commercial technology had blurred the lines between what was available to military consumers and civilian ones. Often start-ups and leading internet companies like Facebook and Google are working on products as sophisticated as anything the military has at its disposal.
该报告发现,越来越精密的商业技术模糊了军用消费者和民用消费者可获得的产品之间的界线。通常,初创公司及Facebook和谷歌(Google)这种处于领导地位的企业研发的产品,精密程度不亚于军方使用的产品。
“For example, V.R. for gaming is at a similar level of sophistication as the V.R. used in simulators for our armed forces,” the report said, referring to virtual reality. “Facial recognition and image detection for social networking and online shopping has real application in tracking terrorists or other threats to national security,” the report continued, which added that much of the autonomous vehicle and drone technology of today was developed using grants from the Pentagon.
“比如,用于电脑游戏的VR的精密程度,与我们的武装部队使用的模拟装置所采用的VR相类似,”该报告说。这里的VR指的是虚拟现实。“用于社交网络和网购的面部识别和图像检测,在追踪恐怖分子或对国家安全的其他威胁上都有实际应用,”报告继续写道,并表示,今天绝大多数的自动驾驶车辆和无人机技术,都是用五角大楼的拨款开发出来的。
In some cases, companies aided by those grants have since raised money from Chinese investors. Velodyne, for example, started developing light sensors for driverless cars after participating in a competition set up by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, a unit of the Pentagon, in 2005. Since then, those sensors have been used on the United States Navy’s unmanned surface vehicles.
有些情况下,接受这些经费资助的公司之后曾向中国投资者融资。比如,在2005年参与了由美国国防部分支机构国防高级研究计划局(Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency)设立的一项比赛后,Velodyne开始研发无人驾驶车所需的光传感器。自那时开始,这些传感器便被用于美国海军的无人驾驶水面工具。
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Last summer, the company received a $150 million joint investment from Ford and the Chinese internet giant Baidu. Baidu declined to comment on the investment.
去年夏天,这家公司接受了福特公司和中国互联网巨头百度提供的1.5亿美元投资。百度拒绝就这项投资置评。
A Velodyne spokeswoman said the round represented its first outside investment.
Velodyne的发言人表示,这是该公司获得的首轮外部投资。
“The company obtained all necessary government clearances relating to the investment as part of the funding process,” the spokeswoman wrote in an email. “Notably, the investments were designed to make advanced LiDAR sensors more accessible to the broader industry, resulting in the development of safer, less expensive autonomous vehicles.”
“作为融资过程的一部分,公司完成了与这项投资有关的所有必要的审批,”这位发言人在一封邮件中写道。“值得一提的是,这些投资旨在制造更容易被更广泛的行业使用的先进LiDAR感应器,由此促进更安全、造价更低的自动驾驶汽车的发展。”
Ashton B. Carter, the former secretary of defense, commissioned the report as an urgent review of what senior Pentagon officials have considered China’s alarming penetration of Silicon Valley, particularly in deals that finance nascent technology that has military applications.
前国防部部长阿什顿·B·卡特(Ashton B. Carter)委托相关方面撰写了这份报告,以便尽快对五角大楼高层官员眼中的中国对硅谷令人担忧的渗透行动进行审视,尤其是涉及军事应用的新兴技术的融资交易。
The report found that American private industry was mostly unaware of Beijing’s efforts — many of the deals involve relatively small amounts of money — and that Washington did not have a strong understanding of the scale of the issue.
这份报告发现,美国的私人企业大多不清楚北京的这些努力——这些交易涉及的金额有许多相对比较小——华盛顿对这个问题的严重程度也缺乏深入的了解。
“The U.S. government does not have a holistic view of how fast this technology transfer is occurring, the level of Chinese investment in U.S. technology, or what technologies we should be protecting,” the report said.
“对于这种技术转让在以多快的速度发生、中国投资美国技术的水平,或者我们应该保护哪些技术,美国政府没有通盘的考虑,”报告称。
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Michael A. Brown, the former chief executive of Symantec, led the study, called “How Chinese Investments in Emerging Technology Enable a Strategic Competitor to Access the Crown Jewels of U.S. Innovation.” The New York Times reviewed a copy of the unclassified report.
Symantec前首席执行官迈克尔·A·布朗(Michael A. Brown)领导了这项名为《中国在新兴科技领域的投资如何令一个战略竞争者获得美国创新的王冠明珠》(How Chinese Investments in Emerging Technology Enable a Strategic Competitor to Access the Crown Jewels of U.S. Innovation)的研究。《纽约时报》查看了这份非机密报告的副本。
Mr. Carter declined to comment on the final document issued to cabinet officials last month.
卡特拒绝就上月发给内阁官员的最终版本报告置评。
The report does not offer examples of American companies that have accepted Chinese investment and then found that their sensitive technologies were transferred to China.
这份报告没有提供美国企业接受中国投资、然后发现自己的敏感技术转到中国手中的例子。
But it does take exception to tactics that it says Chinese funds have used to skirt government oversight. For example, it singles out Canyon Bridge, a venture capital firm that it says was formed to buy Lattice Semiconductor, an American microchip company. The firm has Chinese capital and American management expertise. The purpose of creating Canyon Bridge was to obscure the source of capital to “enhance the possibility” that the transaction would be approved by Cfius, the report said.
但报告对其中提到的中国基金用来绕开政府监管的一些策略表示抗议。比如,文中单独提到了风险投资公司Canyon Bridge,称它之所以成立,就是为了收购美国微芯片公司雷特斯半导体(Lattice Semiconductor)。这家公司拥有中国的资金和美国的管理人员。报告称,成立Canyon Bridge的目的就是为了模糊资金来源,以“增加”交易被美国外国投资委员会(Cfius)批准的“几率”。
Peter Kuo, a partner at Canyon Bridge, said that the there was never any intention to obscure the source of the fund’s capital, as shown by meetings it had with Cfius before the deal was signed.
Canyon Bridge的合伙人彼得·郭(Peter Kuo)表示,公司从来没有掩盖该基金资本来源的意图,这在协议签署之前公司与Cfius进行的数次会面中就可以看出。
Chinese investors plowed about $30 billion into early-stage technology through more than 1,000 funding deals between 2010 and 2016. During that time, participation from China rose to about 10 percent of total venture deals, with investment in crucial industries like artificial intelligence, robotics and augmented reality accelerating in 2016, according to the report.
在2010至2016年间,中国投资者通过1000多项投资协议在早期技术领域投资了大约300亿美元。报告还显示,那段时间中国的参与增加到整体风投交易的10%左右,并在2016年加快了在人工智能、机器人和增强现实等关键行业的投资。
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Among the investors identified in the report are well-known private firms and funds like Alibaba and Baidu. It also points to government-sponsored investors like Westlake Ventures, a fund in Redwood City, Calif., that is owned by the Hangzhou government, and ZGC Capital, an investor owned by 17 state-owned enterprises with an office in Santa Clara, Calif.
报告确认身份的投资者包括阿里巴巴和百度等知名私人企业和基金。文中还提到了杭州硅谷孵化天使基金(Westlake Ventures)等由政府资助的投资者和ZGC资本(ZGC Capital),前者是杭州政府在加州雷德伍德城设立的基金,后者则是由17家中国国有企业共同拥有的投资公司,办公地点设在加州的圣克拉拉。
The rising trend in venture capital investments has occurred alongside state-directed industrial espionage and online theft, which the American government has been unable to slow, the report says. In the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Silicon Valley field office, only 10 people are dedicated to counterespionage, and F.B.I. officials said in interviews for the report that it “has very limited resources relative to the threat.”
这份报告还提到,与风险投资不断增加的趋势相伴随的,是美国政府一直无法遏制的由国家主导的工业间谍和网上盗窃行动。在联邦调查局(Federal Bureau of Investigation)的硅谷办公室,只有10人负责开展反间谍行动。联邦调查局的官员在为这份报告接受采访时表示,“相对于受到的威胁”,它“的资源非常有限”。
“The scale of the espionage continues to increase,” the authors say. “Despite the rise in convictions, there is no way to know how big this problem really is.”
“间谍行动的规模在持续增大,”报告的作者们表示。“尽管定罪的案件有所增加,但却没有办法知道这个问题究竟有多严重。”