BGI, formerly the Beijing Genomics Institute, is China’s top player in the space. According to its filings, it seeks to help the CCP “seize the commanding heights of international biotechnology competition.” The CCP has conferred on BGI a pivotal role in its bio-genetics efforts, helping it to become a world leader in gene-sequencing, with substantial testing and research capabilities.
Furthermore, BGI has provided it the financing that enabled it to develop the world’s largest sequencing capacity at the time. It has permitted research collaboration between BGI’s affiliates and the People’s Liberation Army’s National University of Defense Technology, which may have applications concerning gene editing. It has put BGI’s research arm in charge of building and operating China’s state-funded National GeneBank in Shenzhen.
Some have referred to BGI as the “Huawei of genomics” — an apt parallel given the essential role both companies play in helping China dominate strategically significant sectors that threaten the national security of the United States.