Re: I'm surprised that anyone is surprised that a Chinese owned or controlled company would do this.
>You cannot just solder a chip on a board to have it spy for you.
Look at PCBs: in many cases you will find many free pads. Some are used for future expansion, for added chips for the model one step up and, mostly, or for test points. Bloomberg makes an issue of Supermicro having Chinese language engineers who held many of the more productive (in their words) telephone conferences in Mandarin Chinese. The hint is that a Supermicro engineer made room for a chip not part of the design, possibly disguised as test points for use in manufacturing, that later was used by Chinese government to fit a chip on.
Back in the day when I was an electronic designer we made sure we had a lot of test points and I have not seen this has changed.