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

Stock MarketsMay 22, 2020 10:06PM ET
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© 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

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 (NASDAQ:NVDA) 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 (OTC:SFTBY) 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.

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.

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

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Comments (9)
Dutch East
Dutch East May 24, 2020 3:10AM ET
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this is not the way capitalism is suppose to function. Banning companies is childish. Let the market place pick the winners and loser. Not the politicians. He likes to preach capitalism but what he does is clearly the opposite.
Tushar Mollik
Tushar Mollik May 23, 2020 11:58AM ET
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Another issue for market going down
Di Did
Di Did May 23, 2020 1:23AM ET
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China CCP no good for business, only destruction of rule of law
David Wong
David9 May 23, 2020 1:23AM ET
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This law will be really good for business in Hong Kong. Once this goes into effect, the police will have the tool to keep the business running and they can lock up the Rioters. If for example, even if Pompeo were to go to Hong Kong and support the Rioters, China can put him in jail for violating the law, because this law is serious. It deals with China national security.
Big Dave
Big Dave May 23, 2020 1:23AM ET
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US no good for anything only destruction of humanity
Limin Tandiono
Limin Tandiono May 23, 2020 1:23AM ET
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I prefer democracy over communism, but not the democracy under Trump.
Anna Phillips
Anna Phillips May 23, 2020 1:23AM ET
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Stop the Totalitarian 🇨🇳
Phi CK
Phi CK May 23, 2020 1:23AM ET
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You mean the US? Initiate the wars elsewhere, and kills the innocents to claim those places are evil or having weapons of mass destruction, but in fact “merely to protect and dictate the US$ trading position. This is what you mean “totalitarian”.
Leo Putra Wijaya
Leo Putra Wijaya May 22, 2020 9:43PM ET
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It is a simple blaming game at this point, Hong Kong will be but a simple catalyst to justify US taking action against China. China has simply become too strong this past decade and no single nation has any power to stop Her advance, unfortunately. But, as they always said, the nail that sticks out will either be pushed back in or pulled out entirely. I just hope its not the latter because the way i see it, they are preparing to do that and ironically enough US has to be the number one victim in this case, followed by Brazil, Russia, Spain, and UK. Who will reap the most benefit with China toned down ? I think of Corona as simply a way for them to band together with legitimate reason to fight China. Sure, there are already victims in the millions and casualties of hundreds of thousands but compared to World population ? Its but a blimp and if that is what is needed to suppress China, they will think its a great bargain. Face it people, 2020 is a turning point.
David Wong
David9 May 22, 2020 8:23PM ET
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None of these is going to affect China. Trump just need to show something to respond. But China is doing a good thing for Hong Kong. That means outside forces will not be able to help push their agenda and the small Rioters will not be able to do harm. If they do this time, China will lock them up, transfer them to China to face trail, etc. China can do whatever according to their laws and regulations.
Ashok Major
Ashok Major May 22, 2020 8:23PM ET
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You call those massive demonstrations small?There are old,young,even school kids in uniform demonstrating! China agreed to current HK freedoms when they took over from UK! China is reneging on its treaty with the UK! This move will cause huge finances to move out of HK!To take this step during a pandemic is sheer madness!
Big Dave
Big Dave May 22, 2020 8:23PM ET
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Ashok Major Don’t u see what the rioters cause to Hong Kong? Everything was collapsing, from economy to public transportation. If those people dont get stopped, no business can be run in Hong Kong. Wake up!
Roland Hara
Roland Hara May 22, 2020 8:23PM ET
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Ignore David9 guys. He’s a paid communist china man. He doesnt understand that China is taking HK’s freedom bc they dont have freedom in China. He believes the gov should lock ppl up, control them as they wish. The chinese ppl are the property of the communist gov. HK does NOT want to be their property. Go Hong Kong! Fight the Chinese communist!!
Oil Merchant
Oil Merchant May 22, 2020 5:25PM ET
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Ban China is a good idea
Limin Tandiono
Limin Tandiono May 22, 2020 5:25PM ET
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US is banning China and shoot himself on his feet. Who get hurt the most?
Trump Print Print Print
Trump Print Print Print May 22, 2020 4:31PM ET
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stop posting bad news, we need stock market up
Oil Merchant
Oil Merchant May 22, 2020 4:31PM ET
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We means you and few people.
Chris Sundo
Chris Sundo May 22, 2020 4:10PM ET
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Djeezis -- It took THIS long for common sense to say 'Hello?' and for the Trump group to DO THE RIGHT THING, probably also because he wants to get reelected. Meaning after reelection everything in trump man ia land and with democracy: it's going to get much worse. Shaking my head. Why do billionaires need mo-money?
Ed Nelson
Ed Nelson May 22, 2020 4:10PM ET
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You continue to contradict yourself. You trash Trump, but look, Trump is the only President who has done ANYTHING to reign in the lying, murderous, devious Chinese Communists. BTW, most presidents DO want to get re-elected. The way to do that is to do what the American people want the President to do. Well, he's definitely doing it. How about that?! A vote for Biden is a vote for China. A vote for Trump is a vote for America. TRUTH!
Limin Tandiono
Limin Tandiono May 22, 2020 4:10PM ET
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Trump is a brave warrior but also a silly one. Going out war with lack of tactical strategies will end of they ***his own people.
Limin Tandiono
Limin Tandiono May 22, 2020 4:10PM ET
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Trump is a brave warrior and also a silly one. Going out war with lack of tactical strategies will turn out harming his own people.
Dutch East
Dutch East May 22, 2020 4:10PM ET
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your comment makes me laugh in my belly. Obviously you never studied American history. The Chinese are beautiful white angels compared to the numerous evil your country had done and continues to do
Stanislav Ivanovskiy
Stanislav Ivanovskiy May 22, 2020 4:09PM ET
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bullish
 
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