Chinese Investments in U.S. Venture Technology: Accessing the Crown Jewels of U.S. Innovation



Michael Brown, U.S. Department of Defense

Date and Time

May 21, 2018 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM


Open to the public.

No RSVP required


William J. Perry Conference Room
Encina Hall, Second Floor, Central, C231
616 Jane Stanford Way, Stanford, CA 94305

FSI Contact

Abstract: China’s participation in venture deals financing is at a record level of 10-16% of all venture deals (2015-2017) and has grown quite rapidly in the past seven years.  Technologies where Chinese firms are investing are foundational to future innovation:  artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, augmented/virtual reality, robotics and blockchain technology. Moreover, since these technologies are dual use--designed for commercial use but also equally applicable for military applications, these are some of the same technologies of interest to the U.S. Defense Department.  

Investing is itself only a piece of a larger story of massive technology transfer from the U.S. to China. China has a long-term, systematic effort to attain global leadership in many industries, partly by transferring leading-edge technologies from around the world.

U.S. military superiority since World War II has relied on both U.S. economic scale and technological superiority. 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. 

Speaker bio: Michael Brown is a White House Presidential Innovation Fellow in the U.S. Defense Department. He is the co-author of a Pentagon study on China’s participation in the U.S. venture ecosystem which served as key input for the proposed Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA) being reviewed with bipartisan support by both the House and Senate.

Michael is the former CEO of Symantec Corporation, the global leader in cybersecurity and the world’s 10th largest software company with revenues of $4 billion and more than 10,000 employees worldwide. During his tenure as CEO, Michael led a turnaround as the company developed a new strategy focusing on its security business.

Michael is the former Chairman & CEO of Quantum, a leader in the computer storage industry specializing in backup and archiving products. After leaving Quantum, Michael served as Chairman of EqualLogic, a storage array company. 

He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, received his BA degree in economics from Harvard University in 1980 and his MBA degree from Stanford University in 1984.  

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