Re: I so believe this
I think you're a bit out to lunch on this. Want to not be jailed by the Chinese? Don't go to China. Especially when the nation you live in is in the middle of a pissing match with China, and you're a high-powered executive. That's just life at that level, regardless of whether or not someone has asked you to compromise your gear.
As for the "money is the only thing that matters" bit...you had damned well better believe that "the security and integrity of [Supermicro's] products is [Supermicro's] highest priority". A single accusation - and one that most of the infosec world didn't buy at the outset, and which has since been considered completely debunked - absolutely tanked Supermicro's shares. Please do explain to me exactly how letting $nation stick shit on their boards is somehow making Supermicro money.
Or any manufacturer.
One does not have to do business with China. One does not have to manufacture things there. China may be a few points cheaper than Taiwan, India, Vietnam, or what-have-you, but a few points is absolutely not enough to entice a manufacturer like Supermicro if the tradeoff was "we will put spy chips on your stuff".
Let's consider this rationally for a moment:
1) Supermicro isn't - and hasn't been - the low-cost tin shifter for some time. You want some of the Chinese server manufacturers for that. Supermicro, Dell, HPE and even Lenovo can't compete with the likes of Inspur, and they're not really trying to, either. Supermicro's schtick is flexibility. They have a server room widget for anything you can possibly imagine. That means higher R&D costs, which means no playing in Inspur's sandbox.
2) The big buyers are the public cloud providers. Chinese cloud providers buy predominantly from Chinese companies. Non-Chinese cloud providers don't build a lot of data centers in China. There's a lot more money to be made putting data centers near China, but not actually inside the Great Firewall, with all its geopolitical restrictions. Why in Jibbers' name would Supermicro - or any non-Chinese tin shifter - knowingly let the Chinese government put spy chips on their board, when they know damned well that the instant it was discovered it would alienate the customers responsible for 50%+ of their revenue? There is zero logic in that.
3) Supermicro are terrible at politics. Absolutely terrible. They can't even deal with their own internal politics. They are not about to start playing geopolitical bullshit, because the people in charge of that company know that they would fail catastrophically.
Look, Supermicro has a lot of problems, but willingly getting mixed up in these sort of shenanigans? I just don't buy it. Their CEO is a giant nerd. Obsessive engineer type. He is emphatically not someone who is any good at politics, and he's perfectly aware of that. This extends to pretty much all of Supermicro's leadership.
Supermicro are heavy on nerds, heavy on suit-and-tie from-the-past marketing/PR/sales types, and are more or less what you'd expect from any large predominantly USian corporation that got where they got by building something useful, but never did the ruthless, cutthroat thing and brought in corporate fixers.
If China - or anyone else - had somehow demanded that Supermicro knowingly compromise their own gear, you would not have gotten a full-throated denial from them. You would have gotten a stone wall of "no comment", and lots of "talk to our lawyers".
This is because the people in charge of Supermicro aren't masterful political chess players who even attempt to play complicated geopolitical bullshit games. They'd piss themselves in terror and do whatever their lawyers told them to, and lawyers always tell their clients the same thing: shut the hell up.
So, to me at least, the fact that this particular pack of politically mediocre nerds and empty corporate suits decided that they were going to stand up and say "nyet" actually lends Supermicro's story some credibility.
They could always have been compromised without knowledge of the decision makers...but so far, the evidence doesn't seem to be bearing that out either. And that leaves me with all sorts of questions about this entire thing...but that's a rant for another day.