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BGI Group Statement Regarding the Approval of “BIOSECURE Act” by the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Accountability

May 16, 2024 Views:

BGI Group has noted that the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Accountability has recently voted to advance the BIOSECURE Act (H.R. 8333), which would restrict some researchers and laboratories in the U.S. from accessing our services.

We want to reiterate, as we’ve stated in January, that we fully support the bill’s premise of protecting Americans’ personal data, but driving BGI out of the U.S., which is what this bill will effectively do, will not accomplish this goal since BGI does not have access to these data. Rather the bill will limit competition and strengthen the market monopoly in the important field of human genome sequencing by using the legislative process to pick winners and losers.

In fact, as public records show, this bill has been advocated by an American company to eliminate competition and strengthen its monopoly. BGI Group is disappointed to see the U.S. legislative process being abused by the company which the U.S. government itself has accused of holding an unlawful monopoly.

We have also noted that some Members of Congress continue to make false allegations against BGI. We therefore respectfully ask these Members of Congress and the media to note:

  • BGI Group is a private company held by its founders and executives, and our work is undertaken for civilian and scientific purposes only. BGI Genomics Co., Ltd., one of its subsidiaries, is a publicly traded company. None of BGI Genomics’ outside shareholders have any extraordinary power beyond typical shareholder rights.

  • We noted that a recent report by the Center for Security and Emerging Technology distorted publicly available financial information and mistakenly claimed that BGI is government controlled. The report ignores the basic workings of the financial markets. Chinese mutual funds and pension funds invest in publicly-traded companies, in the same way that U.S. state and federal funds invest in companies traded on U.S. stock exchanges. This does not make the companies government controlled.

  • BGI does not serve patients in the U.S., nor does it provide clinical services, thus it has no access to Americans’ personal data. BGI only serves institutional and corporate clients in the U.S. for research purposes. Any personally identifiable information from human samples is removed by the client before the samples are sent to BGI, and these samples are sequenced in North America and Europe.

  • Our global labs comply with all applicable laws and regulations and meet stringent data protection standards. This includes compliance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), being accredited by the CAP (College of American Pathologists) Laboratory Accreditation of the U.S., and meeting the British Standards Institute’s BS10012 standard.

  • BGI places the highest priority on privacy and respects human rights. Assertions that BGI has participated in the collection, storage, or analysis of personal genetic information for the purpose of infringing human rights are false. Assertions that BGI has supported the surveillance of minorities are false.

As one of the world’s leaders in life sciences, we are committed to enhancing health outcomes worldwide. This was, is, and always will be the company's mission.