Beijing has blasted the addition of 33 of its enterprises to the US economic blacklist, known as the Entity List, promising to defend the firms’ and institutions’ interests by any means necessary.
New US sanctions on Chinese companies – some of which the Trump administration sees as acting “contrary to the national security,” and others it has accused of human right violations – took effect on Friday. The restrictions, announced last month, are set to block the sale of US goods and technology to businesses on the list.
“The United States has repeatedly used national security as a reason, abused measures such as export control, and used national forces to crack down on other countries’ companies,” China’s Ministry of Commerce said when the measure came into effect.
Calling on Washington to “immediately stop these wrong practices,” the statement added that Beijing would not hesitate to use “whatever measures were necessary to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises.”
The latest targets in the infamous economic blacklist include major Chinese cybersecurity firm Qihoo 360 along with other tech suppliers, the bulk of which are developing artificial intelligence (AI) and facial recognition technologies. While the company denied any wrongdoing, it earlier accused the CIA of breaking into the Chinese airline and oil industries, among other targets.
Earlier in May, the US extended pressure on China’s tech giant Huawei. The company – deemed a security threat by Washington – has long been in the same Entity List, prohibiting US firms from doing business with it without special permission. In its latest move, the US tried to cut the firm off from global semiconductor supplies.
The move infuriated Beijing, with Chinese state media saying the government may retaliate with a similar “unreliable entity list.” The restrictions may come as a huge blow to US tech giants such as Apple and Boeing, both of which were named among the targets, cutting their access to the lucrative Chinese market.
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