Super Micro is trying mitigate its soured reputation by moving its production out of China after a report surfaced that the country was planting chips on its server motherboards to spy on top American companies. According to the report, Chinese government-affiliated groups infiltrated the company’s supply chain to attach the chips. The rice-sized chips reportedly allowed remote attackers to access any network that included the altered motherboards.
Independent investigations from companies like Apple and Amazon have not found any evidence of such spying to-date; Bloomberg claimed that Amazon originally discovered the chips in 2015 during its acquisition of Elemental Systems. Amazon hired a third-party company analyze the security of Elemental and that company discovered the chips embedded in the Super Micro server motherboards.
It should also be noted that Apple did end its relationship with Super Micro in 2016 over the same concerns, but joined Amazon, Super Micro, and China’s Ministry for foreign affairs in denying the validity of Bloomberg's report after it was published.
Still, Super Mirco's decision seemingly comes out of an abundance of caution and the desire to regain trust with its customer-base; it's had trouble making sales to specific US customers, especially those with ties to government. Additionally, Super Micro is expanding its US-based productions and building a $65 million factory in Taoyuan, Taiwan, largely due to the spying rumors, but also because some of the increased tariffs the US has placed on China.