China Electronics Technology Group Corporation


China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC) is designated very high risk for being China’s leading military electronics manufacturer.

CETC is a state-owned defence conglomerate that specialises in dual-use electronics. The company was established in 2002 by bringing dozens of research institutes administered by the Ministry of Information Industry, the predecessor to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, under one umbrella.

CETC is one of the world’s largest defence companies. It claims to have 523 subordinate units and companies and 160,000 employees.

CETC divides its defence electronics products into seven categories: air base early warning, integrated electronic information systems, radar, communication and navigation, electronic warfare, UAVs and integrated IFF (identification, friend or foe). CETC also provides technology used for human rights abuses in Xinjiang, where approximately 1.5m are held in re-education camps. ;

Several CETC research institutes and subsidiaries have been added to the US Government’s entity list, restricting exports to them on national security grounds. CETC has been implicated by the US Department of Justice in at least three cases of illegal exports. ; ;

CETC has a large international market and has also expanded its international research collaboration in recent years. It has a European headquarters in Graz, Austria, and has invested in the University of Technology Sydney.

Economic espionage and misconduct

Noteworthy international collaborations

ASPI ICPC’s Mapping China’s Tech Giants project mapped out much of CETC’s overseas presence.

In April 2017, a joint centre for advanced science and technology research funded by CETC was launched at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). CETC is providing the centre with up to AUD 20 million over 5 years and the centre is managed by representatives of both UTS and CETC. The UTS research centre may be funded by CETC’s 54th research institute, which is involved in research on telecommunications, underwater acoustic sensors, satellite tracking, jamming military communications, intelligence and reconnaissance technology, and unmanned systems. CETC’s 54th Research Institute has been a funder of UTS’s Global Big Data Technology Centre since 2015. In 2018 CETC funded a research project at UTS on public security online video retrieval systems.

The controversial UTS-CETC partnership has attracted continuous media attention. ; ; ; ; A 2019 investigation by the Australian Broadcasting Company’s Four Corners program drew attention to CETC’s role in monitoring Uyghurs in China. This led UTS to announce an internal review into its partnership with CETC.
CETC is actively building a presence in Austria. In 2015, CETC and Technical University Graz (TU Graz) established the Sino-Austrian Electronic Technology Innovation Centre (SAETIC). The year after SAETIC was established, CETC set up an R&D centre and its European headquarters in Graz — reportedly its first office outside Asia. An Austrian media report on CETC’s European headquarters states that its cooperation with companies and universities in Graz focuses on “security technology and business intelligence.”

End-user lists

Numerous CETC research institutes and companies feature  in the US BIS Entity List:

Three CETC research institutes are in Japan’s End-user List for their roles in the development of missiles:

  • CETC 10th Research Institute
    • Aka Southwest Institute of Electronic Technology (中国西南电子技术研究所)
  • CETC 20th Research Institute
    • Aka Xi’an Research Institute of Navigation Technology (西安导航技术研究所)
  • CETC 54th Research Institute
    • Aka Communication, Telemetry and Telecontrol Research Institute or Shijiazhuang Communication Observation and Control Technology Institute (石家庄通信测控研究所)

Last updated 31 August 2020. Unclear about any wording? Visit the terminology page.