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Have Chinese Spies Infiltrated American Elections?

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“After the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, with the continuous development of political and economic reform, all kinds of election activities will become more and more a norm.

We have a senior professional team that has been engaged in election service and management for a long time, and we have the experience of overseas election internship and exchange. We can provide the most professional election consulting service and election activity solutions for all places and levels of Party committees, NPCs, CPPCCs, trade unions, overseas Chinese Federation, women’s federations, Communist Youth League; villages, towns, streets, communities and units that have the need for election and evaluation of priorities.”

On a now-deleted website for the Chinese company, Jinhua Yulian Network Technology Co., the statement above was written by Eugene Yu, the Founder & CEO of Konnech Inc., a U.S. election company based out of East Lansing, Michigan.

Yu, who graduated from Zhejiang University in 1982 before receiving his MBA from Wake Forest University in 1988, founded Michigan’s Konnech Inc. on March 20, 2002, registering the domain “www.konnech.com” a month later.

On November 29, 2005, the Michigan CEO whose Chinese name is Jianwei Yu (于建伟), founded Jinhua Yulian Network Technology Co. in Jinhua City, Zhejiang Province, China.

On February 25, 2006, Yu registered the website “www.yu-lian.cn” for his Chinese election company to his American election company’s email address “[email protected]”.

In a 2013 archived version of the website, Yu referred to the former Chinese President as “Comrade Jiang Zemin” as he wrote in Chinese:

“After a lot of practice and many years of scientific and technological investment, in line with the principle of “political tasks first and economic benefits of enterprises second”, our company has perfected and formed the whole set of election management theory and software tools in line with China’s national conditions.”

“We hope to ride on the spring breeze of political reform and provide you with election consulting services and election campaign management in line with China’s national conditions based on our democratic election campaigns with Chinese characteristics.”

On a website page labeled “Success Stories”, Yu listed in Chinese; “Election Management Solutions, Detroit, Michigan, USA”, “Election Volunteer Management System”, “Election District Point Management System”, “Election Warehouse Management System”, “Election Call Help Service Center”, and lastly, “US Overseas Voter Election Management System”, a program in which he managed voting for U.S. citizens and military service members residing overseas.

Yu, who previously redirected traffic from his Chinese election company’s website “www.yu-lian.cn” to his American election company’s website “www.konnech.com”, even prominently featured the same banner image on the top of both of his websites.

My investigation into Eugene Yu and Konnech Inc. began two weeks ago after Catherine Englebrecht of TrueTheVote and Gregg Phillips of OPSEC organized an event on Saturday, August 13th in Arizona called “the Pit”.

During that event, they revealed that they had been part of a year-long investigation into Konnech with federal law enforcement after discovering a Konnech server’s IP address switched locations between Zhejiang, China, and Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Independent tech journalist, Cognitive Carbon, who attended the Arizona event wrote:

“What they found was shocking: they found data that included personal details of nearly 1.8 million US poll workers. Details like their names, phone numbers, addresses, etc. Even the names of family members: things that might routinely be collected when you hire someone and issue them a paycheck.

But they also reportedly found rich details about where election machines were located, including floorplans of buildings used in elections. Nominally, this information would be of use by the election agencies, because the application they were using helped them track their election machine inventory.

But none of this should have been left out in the open for just anyone to see; and it sure as hell shouldn’t have been done in China.”

In my own investigation, I was able to use Linkedin profiles, Facebook posts, domain registrations, internet archives, company patents, and Chinese search engines among other open-source tools to string together a disturbing connection between Konnech Inc. and two Chinese election companies — Jinhua Yulian Network Technology Co., Ltd. and Jinhua Hongzheng Technology Co., Ltd.

Subsequently, I researched and wrote about the connections between these companies and their two founders — Eugene Yu and Lin Yu — in three articles and numerous social media posts over the last two weeks:

These articles document how Konnech Inc. previously built a “communication platform” for the Confucius Institute, how the American company has been hiring Chinese coders for their “branch in Jinhua, Zhejiang” since at least 2005, how Australian Parliament Members complained about these Chinese coders during their 2020 election, and how one of the Chinese companies named Hongzheng Technology — after being founded by Lin Yu on April 13, 2015, and registered to Eugene Yu’s Michigan website on July 31, 2015 — has been building voting technology for China’s National People’s Congress in partnership with Lenovo, Huawei, China Unicom, China Telecom, and China Mobile.

Yesterday, an independent journalist named, Digger Sleuth — who published this monumental article on August 16th which laid the foundation for my Chinese research — discovered the archived version of Eugene Yu’s “www.yu-lian.cn”.

Incredibly, in the copyright featured at the bottom, Eugene Yu mixed an American site he registered “reddatesoft.com” with Lin Yu’s Chinese company “Jinhua Red Date Software Co.” on his Chinese election company’s website “www.yu-lian.cn” which was registered to his American election company’s email address “[email protected]”.

Perfectly linking a voting technology company in Australia, Canada, and the United States — through Konnech Inc., Eugene Yu, Yulian Network Co., Lin Yu, Red Date Software Co., and Hongzheng Technology Co. — to a Chinese Communist Party election company partnered with China’s largest telecom giants in Jinhua City, Zhejiang Province, China.

To summarize, the websites for Yulian Network and Hongzheng Technology were both registered to Eugene Yu’s Konnech email addresses, “[email protected]” and “[email protected]”.

Eugene Yu registered the Yulian Network business under his Chinese name Jianwei Yu.

The Hongzheng Technology business, an election company partnered with Lenovo, Huawei, China Unicom, China Mobile, China Telecom, and China’s National People’s Congress was registered to Lin Yu.

Lin Yu worked as a supervisor for Eugene Yu at Yulian Network from 2014 until 2019.

Lin’s Jinhua Red Date Software Co. was prominently featured on the bottom of Eugene Yu’s “www.yu-lian.cn”.

On “www.yu-lian.cn”, the Michigan CEO openly praised “Comrade Jiang Zemin” and the “Chinese Communist Party” stating that his company’s principle is “political tasks first and economic benefits of enterprises second” before listing “Election Management Solutions, Detroit, Michigan, USA” and “US Overseas Voters” as his “Success Stories”.

Incredibly, despite all of this information on the internet, Eugene Yu still provides voting technology to this day at the heart of elections in Australia, Canada, and the United States.


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