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Exclusive: U.S. set to add more Chinese companies to blacklist over Xinjiang

Stock MarketsJul 09, 2021 04:36AM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Security guards stand at the gates of what is officially known as a vocational skills education center in Huocheng County in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China September 3, 2018.REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo 2/2

By Humeyra Pamuk and David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Biden administration is set as early as Friday to add more than 10 Chinese companies to its economic blacklist over alleged human rights abuses and high-tech surveillance in Xinjiang, two sources told Reuters.

The U.S. Commerce Department action will follow its announcement last month adding five other companies and other Chinese entities to the blacklist over allegations of forced labor in the far western region of China.

The additions to Commerce Department's Entity List are part of the Biden administration's efforts to hold China accountable for human rights violations, the sources said.

China dismisses accusations of genocide and forced labor in Xinjiang and says its policies are necessary to stamp out separatists and religious extremists who plotted attacks and stirred up tension between mostly Muslim ethnic Uyghurs and Han, China's largest ethnic group.

"The Chinese side will take all necessary measures to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies and rejects U.S. attempts to interfere in China's internal affairs," said foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin on Friday.

One of the sources for the economic blacklist additions said the Commerce Department plans to add 14 Chinese companies to the Entity List over reported abuses in Xinjiang.

The identity of the companies being added was not immediately known. Some companies from other countries will also be added to the department's blacklist as soon as Friday.

The White House declined to comment, while the Commerce Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

RIGHTS ABUSES

The latest action shows President Joe Biden aims to press China over what the administration says are worsening human rights abuses against the Uyghur population in Xinjiang.

Generally, entity-listed companies are required to apply for licenses from the Commerce Department and face tough scrutiny when they seek permission to receive items from U.S. suppliers.

Last month, the Commerce Department said it was adding the five Chinese entities "for accepting or utilizing forced labor in the implementation of the People’s Republic of China’s campaign of repression against Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region."

The department said the action in June targeted the ability of the five entities, including Chinese-based solar panel material firm Hoshine Silicon Industry Co, "to access commodities, software, and technology ... and is part of a U.S. Government-wide effort to take strong action against China’s ongoing campaign of repression against Muslim minority groups" in Xinjiang.

This is not the first time the U.S. government has targeted Chinese firms linked to allegations of high-tech surveillance activity in Xinjiang.

In 2019, the Trump administration added some of China’s top artificial intelligence startups to its economic blacklist over its treatment of Muslim minorities.

The Commerce Department under Trump targeted 20 Chinese public security bureaus and eight companies including video surveillance firm Hikvision, as well as leaders in facial recognition technology SenseTime Group Ltd and Megvii Technology Ltd.

The Commerce Department said in 2019 the entities were implicated in "high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups.”

UN experts and rights groups estimate more than a million people, most of them Uyghurs and members of other Muslim minorities, have been detained in recent years in a vast system of camps in Xinjiang.

Exclusive: U.S. set to add more Chinese companies to blacklist over Xinjiang
 

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Comments (8)
divad mocihc
9divaD Jul 09, 2021 12:45AM ET
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Most of the world now knows about the detention centers … only the ignorant sheep don’t … many people were in denial about a certain German leader as well
divad mocihc
9divaD Jul 09, 2021 12:39AM ET
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mouse, you are not alone, In proving foresight may be vain; The best laid schemes of mice and men go often askew. And leave us nothing but grief and pain … Robert Burns
David David
David9 Jul 09, 2021 12:33AM ET
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The only proof on Xinjiang comes from Adrian Zenz.... once you look him up and what he is all about... I say no no right away....
divad mocihc
9divaD Jul 09, 2021 12:26AM ET
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Wong again botshill, you have just admitted you are anti-human rights how shameful … let’s hope the same does not happen to you …always asking for proof, you are the proof
David David
David9 Jul 09, 2021 12:26AM ET
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If you say there is human rights issue in Xinjiang then you need to give us clear proof... with clear proof, it is all he said she said... mostly western media are all he said she said news... and our politicians uses he said she said to support their agenda... that is very clear from what I gathered...
David David
David9 Jul 08, 2021 11:54PM ET
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We can try ban this and that, but at the end of the day, we can't stop China's growth... this year China is still growing much much more than any country... China is all about businesss... they have a clear 5 yr 10 yr vision... while US politicians are about to think about their mid term election soon... so it is very hard to compete with China...
Alibaba Hunter
Alibaba Hunter Jul 08, 2021 11:48PM ET
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if not stop china that will make disaster to all world...
Patrick Sheedy
Patrick Sheedy Jul 08, 2021 11:23PM ET
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Bet hes not adding Apple to that list
divad mocihc
9divaD Jul 08, 2021 11:16PM ET
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It’s about time … all it takes for evil to succeed is for good people and governments to do nothing
 
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