US blacklists 28 Chinese entities for rights abuse

The US Commerce Department on Monday placed 28 Chinese law enforcement agencies and companies - including video surveillance company Hikvision and seven other companies - on a US trade blacklist on Beijing's treatment of Muslim Uighurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities.

Those added to the so-called “List of Entities” include the Xinjiang Autonomous Region Government Public Security Department, 19 subordinate government agencies, and eight commercial companies, according to a Commerce Department file.

The companies include some of China's leading artificial intelligence companies, such as Alibaba-backed SenseTime Group Ltd. and Megvii Technology Ltd., as well as Hikvision, formerly known as Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co., Zhejiang Dahua Technology, IFLYTEK Co.. , Xiamen Meiya Peak Information Co. and Yixin Science and Technology Co.

Megvii registered an IPO this summer of at least $ 500 million in Hong Kong, while SenseTime raised $ 620 million in a second round of funding in just two months last year and is one of the world's most valuable unicorns in intelligence. artificial.

While US officials said the announcement was not linked to the resumption of this week's trade talks with China, the announcement sets the tone for a potentially more aggressive stance by Washington in talks with Beijing to end the 15 months war between major economies. of the world.

The department document said "the entities were implicated in human rights violations and abuses in the implementation of China's campaign of repression, arbitrary mass detention and high-tech surveillance against Uighurs, Kazakhs and other members of Muslim minority groups."

"The government and the US Department of Commerce cannot and will not tolerate the brutal crackdown on ethnic minorities in China," said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

The list includes municipal and municipal public safety agencies and Xinjiang Police College. In China, a public safety department is a municipal office responsible for law enforcement, fire prevention, traffic control, immigration control and other matters affecting public safety.

Being added to the “Entity List” prevents companies or other entities from purchasing parts and components of US companies without US government approval.

The Commerce Department has previously added Huawei Technologies Co. and more than 100 affiliates to the Entity List. Huawei's listing hurt many of its US suppliers who depended on the world's largest telecommunications company for revenue and made it difficult for Huawei to sell new products.

Hikvision, with a market value of about $ 42 billion, calls itself the world's largest manufacturer of video surveillance equipment. Reuters reported in August that Hikvision receives nearly 30% of its 50 billion yuan ($ 7 billion) in foreign revenue.

A US Hikvision spokesman said late Monday that the company “strongly opposes today's US government decision” and noted in January that it hired a human rights expert and former US ambassador to advise the company in the fulfillment of human rights.

Source: Reuters

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