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Pentagon seeing cargo cranes as possible Chinese spy: WSJ reports

Picture: Forbes

U.S. officials are expressing growing concerns that the Chinese-manufactured cranes operating in American ports, including those used by the military, could be used as a spying tool for Beijing.

Ship-to-shore cranes produced by ZPMC, a China-based manufacturer, have raised alarm bells with some national-security and Pentagon officials, who have compared them to a Trojan horse. Despite being similarly well-made and less expensive than alternatives, these cranes are equipped with advanced sensors that can detect and track the origin and destination of containers.

This has prompted concerns that China could access information about the goods being shipped to and from the U.S. in support of its military operations. The cranes could also provide a remote entry point for someone seeking to disrupt the flow of goods, according to Bill Evanina, a former top U.S. counterintelligence official.

He has compared cranes to the Chinese telecom company, Huawei Technologies Co., whose equipment has been banned by U.S. officials due to concerns that it could be used for spying purposes. Huawei has denied that its products pose a national-security risk.

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