Will Lenovo and Lexmark be Barred from Doing business With Wisconsin State Agencies? A GOP bill in the Capitol would prevent Wisconsin state agencies — including the Universities of Wisconsin — from doing business with certain Chinese state-run companies. The bill’s co-author, Rep. Alex Dallman, R-Green Lake, said the bill aims to improve information security by barring the state from contracting with state-run companies from China, Russia, Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Venezuela.
“These are countries of concern that could infiltrate or steal technology, research or financial data from the state of Wisconsin,” he said.
The bill would prohibit Wisconsin state entities from contracting with businesses that are operated or regulated by the governments of those countries. The bill targets certain technologies that could pose a risk of data theft, said Dallman.
He said that the federal Department of Defense has found cybersecurity flaws in products by Lenovo and Lexmark — China-based companies that make computers and printers. However, several Wisconsin state agencies have bought technology from those companies, he said.
“We want to make sure that Wisconsin’s technology and equipment are safe by raising our security standards,” said Dallman.
If a banned entity enters into a contract with Wisconsin, it could face hefty fines based on the contract value, and could be banned from working with the state for five years. The entity could also face legal action. Some other states like Idaho, Arkansas and Indiana have enacted similar laws.