In a move that suggests there isn’t an end in sight to the lingering trade war between the States and China, the Donald Trump administration has again hit hard at Beijing. The Commerce Department in a statement on Monday said it has blacklisted 28 Chinese entities including Hikvision that have been implicated in Beijing’s treatment of Uighur Muslims and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities.
Top on the list is Xinjiang province’s Public Security Bureau, as well as 19 other smaller government agencies. Renowned surveillance equipment manufacturers Hikvision tops the 8 commercial firms on the list, while Dahua Technology and Megvii Technology, all of which specialize in facial-recognition technology also made the list.
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“Specifically, these entities have been implicated in human rights violations and abuses in the implementation of China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups” in Xinjiang, the US Commerce Department said in a federal register notice published on Monday.
Consequently, the blacklist prohibits US companies from selling chips and components to the Chinese entities on the list without US government approval. The Commerce Department already blacklisted Huawei and a number over what it termed security concerns. Although the company got a 90 days reprieve, the ban has had a huge toll on the company especially has it has been denied major 5G contracts around the World. While Beijing is doing all it can to accelerate its desire for self-sufficiency in high-tech, the latest move will no doubt harm its ambition, even though a truce could be reached in the coming months.