Dozens of Chinese companies added to U.S. blacklist in latest Beijing rebuke

Dozens of Chinese companies added to U.S. blacklist in latest Beijing rebuke

Reuters  | May 22, 2020 22:06

Dozens of Chinese companies added to U.S. blacklist in latest Beijing rebuke

By David Shepardson and Karen Freifeld

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States said on Friday it would add 33 Chinese firms and institutions to an economic blacklist for helping Beijing spy on its minority Uighur population or because of ties to weapons of mass destruction and China's military.

The U.S. Commerce Department's move marked the Trump administration's latest efforts to crack down on companies whose goods may support Chinese military activities and to punish Beijing for its treatment of Muslim minorities. It came as Communist Party rulers in Beijing on Friday unveiled details of a plan to impose national security laws on Hong Kong.

Seven companies and two institutions were listed for being "complicit in human rights violations and abuses committed in China's campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labor and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs" and others, the Commerce Department said in a statement.

Two dozen other companies, government institutions and commercial organizations were added for supporting procurement of items for use by the Chinese military, the department said in another statement.

The blacklisted companies focus on artificial intelligence and facial recognition, markets that U.S. chip companies such as Nvidia Corp and Intel Corp (NASDAQ:INTC) have been heavily investing in.

Among the companies named is NetPosa, one of China's most famous AI companies, whose facial recognition subsidiary is linked to the surveillance of Muslims.

Qihoo360, a major cybersecurity firm taken private and delisted from the Nasdaq in 2015, recently made headlines for claiming it had found evidence that CIA hacking tools were used to target the Chinese aviation sector.

The Commerce Department said it was adding the firms and institutions to its "entity list," which restricts sales of U.S. goods shipped to them and some more limited items made abroad with U.S. content or technology. Companies can apply for licenses to make the sales, but they must overcome a presumption of denial.

Softbank Group Corp-backed CloudMinds was also added. It operates a cloud-based service to run robots such as a version of Pepper, a humanoid robot capable of simple communication. The company was blocked last year from transferring technology or technical information from its U.S. unit to its offices in Beijing, Reuters reported in March.

Qihoo, NetPosa and CloudMinds could not be immediately reached for comment.

Xilinx Inc (NASDAQ:XLNX), which makes programmable chips, said at least one of its customers was on the list but that it believes the business impact will be negligible.

“Xilinx is aware of the recent additions to the Department of Commerce’s Entity List and is evaluating any potential business impact," the company said. "We comply with any new U.S. Department of Commerce rules and regulations.”

The new listings follow a similar October 2019 action when Commerce added 28 Chinese public security bureaus and companies - including some of China's top artificial intelligence startups and video surveillance company Hikvision - to a U.S. trade blacklist over the treatment of Uighur Muslims.

© Reuters. Flags of U.S. and China are placed for a meeting between Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and China's Minister of Agriculture Han Changfu in Beijing

The actions follow the same blueprint used by Washington in its attempt to limit the influence of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd for what it says are national security reasons. Last week, Commerce took action to try to further cut off Huawei's access to chipmakers.

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Ed Crain
Ed Crain

Simply Open Minded Question: When China wants to invest in the US, The US places sanctions on China prohibiting investment as a protectionist measure. However, when China tries to exercise its authority for their sovereignty (not likely for sovereignty but more for control) of their country, the US cries foul. Didn't Trump engage in a similar exercise to protect US sovereignty? Why not just pull all US investment in China and force Americans to sell stocks in Chinese companies? You can't invest in Chinese companies, then complain about how they operate. You are the owner of the company as shareholder, so you are just complaining to yourself! The US should put their money where their mouth is. To demonstrate their distaste for China, they need to sell all Chinese investments, shut down all US companies there and bring the jobs back to their domestic markets for Americans. Unfortunately, Americans won't To investors, greed speaks louder than democracy. That's why we are on this site!  ... (Read More)

May 23, 2020 19:12 GMT· Reply
Ed Crain
Ed Crain

58220 Americans died in the Vietnam war over 20 years under four presidents. 97838 Americans died of Covid-19 with over 1.6 Million infected in three and a half months under Donald Trump. Can't say that Trump isn't efficient! Despite the increased defence spending, Trump could not defend the US from his 2020 Covid-19 Vietnam War. Instead he surrendered to this enemy with his poor planning blaming the rest of the world for his incompetence, and putting all Americans in danger, as well as Canada. Bleach is still his #1 cure all. Trumpvirus is falling in disgrace! Good luck in November!!!🤣🤣🤣👍  ... (Read More)

May 23, 2020 16:30 GMT· Reply
Ed Crain
Ed Crain

It'll never work. Numbered companies from other jurisdictions and owned by China will purchase the shares. Its a very easy work around. Even Trump has been known to do this with his companies. The US cannot survive without China. China holds the mortgage on US debt!🤣🤣🤣  ... (Read More)

May 22, 2020 21:33 GMT· Reply
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