United States blacklists dozens of Chinese Companies

Vastavam web: The United States added dozens of Chinese companies, including the country’s top chipmaker SMIC and Chinese drone manufacturer SZ DJI Technology Co Ltd, to a trade blacklist on Friday as U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration ratchets up tensions with China in his final weeks in office. The U.S. Commerce Department said the action against SMIC stems from Beijing’s efforts to harness civilian technologies for military purposes and evidence of activities between SMIC and Chinese military industrial companies of concern.

The department also said it was adding the world’s biggest drone company DJI to the list along with AGCU Scientech; China National Scientific Instruments and Materials, and Kuang-Chi Group for allegedly enabling “wide-scale human rights abuses.” “The United States will use all countermeasures available, including actions to prevent (Chinese) companies and institutions from exploiting U.S. goods and technologies for malign purposes,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo added in a separate release.

SMIC and the other companies did not immediately comment. But some lawmakers, industry executives and former officials raised questions about the impact of Friday’s move against SMIC. Generally, entity-listed companies are required to apply for licenses from the Commerce Department that face tough scrutiny when they seek permission to receive items from U.S. suppliers. But Chinese authorities did not mince words about Washington’s latest gambit. In an address to the Asia Society on Friday, China’s State Councillor Wang Yi, who is also the country’s foreign minister, noted the expanding list of U.S. sanctions and called on Washington to stop its “arbitrary suppression” of Chinese companies.

China’s foreign ministry said that if true, the blacklisting would be evidence of U.S. oppression of Chinese companies and that Beijing would continue to take “necessary measures” to protect their rights. “We urge the U.S. to cease its mistaken behavior of unwarranted oppression of foreign companies,” ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a regular news conference in Beijing on Friday.