Breaking News
Get 40% Off 0
Is NVDA a 🟢 buy or 🔴 sell? Unlock Now

U.S. curbs Chinese drone maker DJI, other firms it accuses of aiding rights abuses

Published Dec 16, 2021 09:04AM ET Updated Dec 17, 2021 09:07AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a face mask following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak is seen at a counter displaying drones and other products, at DJI's flagship store in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China August 8, 2020. REUTERS/David Kirton/File Photo 2/2
 
CEO
0.00%
Add to/Remove from Watchlist
Add to Watchlist
Add Position

Position added successfully to:

Please name your holdings portfolio
 

By Alexandra Alper and Daphne Psaledakis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government put investment and export restrictions on dozens of Chinese companies on Thursday, including top drone maker DJI, accusing them of complicity in the oppression of China's Uyghur minority or helping the military, further ratcheting up tensions between the world's top two economies.

Blaming DJI and seven other tech firms for supporting "the biometric surveillance and tracking" of Uyghurs, the U.S. Treasury Department added them to a list of entities suspected of having Chinese military links, barring Americans from trading in their securities.

Separately, the Commerce Department added China's Academy of Military Medical Sciences and its 11 research institutes to a trade blacklist, restricting access to U.S. exports.

It said the academy uses biotechnology for military uses, including "purported brain-control weaponry", without defining the technology further.

The term was used by the academy's president in a 2015 Chinese military newspaper article outlining future warfare, to describe "equipment that interferes with and controls human consciousness" during combat.

Reuters recently reported that a four year project by the academy's head of brain science included China's biggest gene firm BGI conducting genetic research on military recruits at high altitude in Tibet. Two BGI Group subsidiaries were put on the trade blacklist last year.

The department also added HMN International, formerly Huawei Marine, Jiangsu Hengtong Marine Cable Systems, Jiangsu Hengtong OpticElectric, Shanghai Aoshi Control Technology Co, Ltd, and Zhongtian Technology Submarine Cable to the list over U.S. allegations of acquiring, or attempting to acquire, technology from the United States to help modernize the People's Liberation Army.

The Chinese embassy in Washington called the actions "unwarranted suppression" that violated free trade rules, adding that Beijing would take "all essential measures" to uphold the interests of Chinese companies and research institutions.

"China's development of biotechnology has always been for the well-being of mankind. The relevant claims of the U.S. side are totally groundless," embassy spokesman Liu Pengyu said in an email.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a regular briefing on Friday that China firmly opposes the latest U.S. moves and urged the U.S. to "rectify" its "mistaken ways".

Echoing these remarks, China's commerce ministry described the U.S. actions as "bullying" and said they were not conducive to the recovery of the global economy.

It added in a statement that in the absence of any factual basis for the measures, Washington has "fabricated reasons out of thin air".

A DJI spokesperson declined to comment on the U.S. announcement on Friday, but directed Reuters to the company's statement when the U.S. Commerce Department put it on the so-called entity list a year ago for the same reasons. That step barred it from buying or using U.S. technology or components.

At the time, DJI said it had done nothing to justify the move and would continue to sell products in the United States.

U.N. experts and rights groups estimate that more than a million people, mainly Uyghurs and members of other Muslim minorities, have been detained in recent years in a vast system of camps in China's far-west region of Xinjiang.

China denies rights abuses in Xinjiang and has pushed back against U.S. "interference" in its affairs, vowing to protect its companies against U.S. sanctions.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said China is choosing to use biotechnologies "to pursue control over its people and its repression of members of ethnic and religious minority groups."

"We cannot allow U.S. commodities, technologies, and software that support medical science and biotechnical innovation to be diverted toward uses contrary to U.S. national security," she said in a statement.

Thursday's announcement coupled with last week's investment ban on Chinese facial recognition company SenseTime could worsen already rocky relations between Beijing and Washington, despite President Joe Biden’s trying in a November virtual meeting with China’s leader Xi Jinping to establish “guardrails” to prevent the two superpowers from sliding toward conflict.

Also on Thursday, the Senate passed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. Biden has said he will sign it into law. The bill would ban imports from China's Xinjiang region over concerns about forced labor.

SURVEILLANCE TECHNOLOGY

The investment ban, which will also apply to Megvii Technology Limited and Cloudwalk Technology Co Ltd, was first imposed by Donald Trump's administration and revised by Biden. It prohibits U.S. entities from investing in dozens of Chinese companies with alleged ties to the defense or surveillance technology sectors. It now spans dozens of companies, from China's top chipmaker SMIC to oil producer CNOOC (NYSE:CEO).

All eight companies added to the list on Thursday are already on the entity list. The list has become a go-to tool for Washington in the U.S.-China tech feud. Suppliers to companies on the list must seek a special license from the Commerce Department to ship goods to the targeted company. The license requests face a tough standard of review.

Cloudwalk and Megvii both said in separate statements they opposed the U.S. Treasury's decision, with Megvii adding that its inclusion on the list would not impact the company's daily operations.

Beijing and Washington have clashed over several issues, including U.S. criticism of China’s expanding nuclear arsenal and the Biden administration’s decision this month for U.S. government officials to boycott the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics over rights abuses.

China’s telecommunications equipment company Huawei Technologies was added to the entity list in 2019. Submarine cable maker HMN Technologies was added later that year.

Washington has become increasingly concerned about security threats posed by the company's role in building undersea internet cables, which have far greater data capacity than satellites. Last year, it sent warnings to Pacific Island nations about HMN's bid to participate in a project to improve communications in the region, Reuters reported.

Beijing says it has no intention of using cable infrastructure for spying.

U.S. curbs Chinese drone maker DJI, other firms it accuses of aiding rights abuses
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.
  • Any comment you publish, together with your investing.com profile, will be public on investing.com and may be indexed and available through third party search engines, such as Google.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (7)
Tony Cheng
Tony Cheng Dec 20, 2021 2:57AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
China needs to step in and stop America from oppression of its minorities and native Asian population. l the land had been stolen from the Asians throughout all of the Pacific and the Americas since Italian Columbus came on board. China needs to enact laws that will punish Americans and, as last resort, send them back to their motherland. Enough is enough.
Brian Walsh
Brian Walsh Dec 20, 2021 2:57AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Spoken like a good little commie! Bravo Comrade, your indoctrination is complete.
Thomas Simpson
Thomas Simpson Dec 17, 2021 10:33PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
China has been handing us our lunch for years, and now these superfluous jabs because of human rights will amount to NOTHING. Just like taking a knee at the football game. No quantitative substance. Try reestablishing self reliance as a nation.
Chris Sundo
Chris Sundo Dec 17, 2021 4:43AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
We need to teach China a lesson, fast and hard.
Andrew Cho
Andrew Cho Dec 17, 2021 4:43AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Genius like you seated in DC made us paid more.
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Dec 17, 2021 4:43AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
yes, China should know better, everyone knows that drones are not made for "biometric surveillance and tracking" of minorities, they are made to drop bomb on Afgan wedding parties
Tony Ab
Tony Ab Dec 17, 2021 4:43AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
David David for one we can recognize Taiwan as Country on its own , two move nuclear war heads in taiwan , three step in on so called south china sea and have permanent nuclear capabilities there . China is a threat number one to the world. Deal with them in asia now or later on our shores . CCP is a disease . Uncurable one
Mart Bab
Rubberduck1973 Dec 17, 2021 12:40AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Very soon China will kick ford and Tesla out of china
Keng He
Keng He Dec 17, 2021 12:40AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
they should kick gm out.
Jack AAA
Jack_A Dec 17, 2021 12:40AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
No, China will welcome more US companies, why cut yourself like US?
David Helt
David Helt Dec 16, 2021 5:46PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
About time US get tougher against CCP!
Chris Sundo
Chris Sundo Dec 16, 2021 5:46PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Erski Gumby  -- Agreed
Brando Hernandez
Brando Hernandez Dec 16, 2021 3:51PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
They keep recycling this week old story, incredible.
James Hilliard
James Hilliard Dec 16, 2021 10:16AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
The USA has over 1 million prisoners, mostly black and hispanic...
Benjamin Troyer
Benjamin Troyer Dec 16, 2021 10:16AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
which statically have higher crime rate pre person, fact!!! Robbing someone and only getting 20-50 dollars doesn't make it less of a crime!!!!
Sherman Shields
Sherman Shields Dec 16, 2021 10:16AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Racism
Tony Ab
Tony Ab Dec 16, 2021 10:16AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Whats your point ? How many politicals one ? Zero with capital Z. USA should have at least few hundred thousands more ( esp on blue states where crime is exploding )What % is the asian population in usa behind bars ? Or tou are going to tell us that asian in usa get a prefered treatment ? So dont feed us some bs here . You do the crime get ready to do the time . “ Black males had the highest homi- cide rate (72 per 100,000 population), followed by black females (14 per 100,000), white males (9 per 100,000), and white females (3 per 100,000).” This was from USA department of justice report
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email