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Interest in Metro by China's State-Owned Firm Causes Concern

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What to Know

  • Officials and experts say the cars could be equipped with surveillance cameras or equipment vulnerable to hacking.

  • Metro now requires manufacturers to remove unnecessary communication ports and disable software-related "back doors."

  • There are no U.S. transit rail car manufacturers.

China's state-owned rail car manufacturer has shown interest in building the next generation of rail cars for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, and federal officials are worried about possible cybersecurity risks.

China Railway Rolling Stock Corp., South Korea-based Hyundai Rotem and France-based Alston were some of the companies that visited the area last month on a Metro-sponsored trip for possible bidders, the Washington Post reported Monday.

Officials and experts say the cars could be equipped with surveillance cameras or equipment vulnerable to hacking.

Metro updated its bid to address some issues and now requires manufacturers to remove unnecessary communication ports and disable software-related "back doors."

There are no U.S. transit rail car manufacturers. China's manufacturer also may bid on a contract with the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

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