China Electronics Corporation


China Electronics Corporation (CEC) is designated very high risk for being one of China’s leading producers of military electronics.

CEC is a state-owned conglomerate that produces dual-use electronics. The company was established in 1989 to produce semi-conductors, electronic components, software and telecommunications products. ; The company describes itself as a defence industry conglomerate.

CEC is one of China’s largest companies with nearly 120 thousand employees. CEC claims to hold 22 subordinate enterprises and 14 listed companies. Global Security has provided a list of CEC’s 36 member companies in English.

CEC is divided into two operational groups. First is the China Electronics Party Institute (中国电子党校), which provides disciplinary oversight and organises communist party activities within CEC. Second is the Science and Technology Committee (科学技术委员会), which is responsible for research and development within CEC.

CEC’s defence electronics are developed by the Military Engineering Department (军工部) within CEC’s Science and Technology Committee. Key defence electronics produced by CEC include tracking stations, radar technology, as well as command and control systems. ; The company maintains its own office for the management of classified information related to defence research. The Federation of American Scientists has identified CEC’s defence-related enterprises on a list that can be found here.

Economic espionage and misconduct

The Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) warned the Canadian government against allowing O-Net Communications, a company that CEC partially owns, to acquire ITF Technologies from Montreal. ITF develops fibre-laser technology that can be used in communications systems and directed-energy weapons. CSIS was reportedly concerned that the sale would put a crucial defence technology in the hands of a company that it believed to be controlled by the Chinese Party-state.

The China National Electronics Import & Export Corporation (CEIEC), a subsidiary of CEC, was reprimanded by the United States Department of State in December 2006 for transferring ‘equipment and technology controlled under multilateral export control lists … or otherwise having the potential to make a material contribution to the development of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) or cruise or ballistic missile systems’ to Iran and/or Syria. ;

Defence and security links

In 2015 CEC acquired a company called Maipu that develops hardware for secure network communications. Maipu’s supply of computer chips were provided by another CEC subisdiary, Phytium, in order to ensure that the company developed network communications hardware based entirely on Chinese materials. The Financial Times has noted that these events mean Maipu is trusted to provide secure products for Chinese defence customers.

Noteworthy international collaborations

CEC participates in the Chinese government’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The company claims to have participated in collaborations with ARM, Google and Huawei on network security issues.

CEC opened a subsidiary in the Philippines on 14 March 2018 as part of the BRI. The company’s Philippine subsidiary hosts a factory of over 4,371 square metres and two surface-mount technology production lines for semi-conductors.

CEC was actively engaged internationally before the BRI. CEC entered into a US$2.9 billion agreement with the Japanese company, Sharp, in 2013. The deal provided CEC with licensing rights for Sharp’s LCD screen technology.

CEC sought to acquire the handset business of Dutch company Philips in 2006. The acquisition, completed in April 2007, meant that CEC would exert control over Philips’ handset production and had the rights to use the Philips brand. Following the 2007 deal, CEC and Philips signed a joint venture agreement for collaboration on intelligent road lighting in 2013.

Last updated 29 October 2019. Unclear about any wording? Visit the terminology page.