US to Blacklist Dozens of Chinese Companies Over National Security Concerns: Commerce Secretary

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the United States is planning to blacklist dozens of Chinese companies, including a top manufacturer of semiconductors, due to national security concerns.

About 80 firms will be placed on the entity list for national defense reasons, said Ross in a Fox Business interview on Thursday. Those companies—the majority of which are Chinese—will be denied access to American technology, he said.

“What this is all about is these are companies that are tied to the People’s Liberation Army,” Ross said, adding, “This has to do with is their access to very advanced semiconductor products.”

Among those that will be put on the blacklist include Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC), which is the largest Chinese chip manufacturer and supplies firms such as Qualcomm and Broadcomm. Those companies will join the likes of Huawei and hundreds of other Chinese companies, according to Ross.

The move will “ensure that China, through its national champion SMIC, is not able to leverage U.S. technologies to enable indigenous advanced technology levels to support its destabilizing military activities,” Ross said Thursday in a statement to the Wall Street Journal.

Ross didn’t elaborate on the other companies that will be put on the list.

US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross
Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross testifies during a Senate hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, on March 5, 2020. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

In September of this year, the Department of Commerce sent a letter to companies saying they must obtain a license before exporting certain products to China as such a move “may pose an unacceptable risk of diversion to a military end-use in the People’s Republic of China.”

Last month, the Defense Department added the semiconductor company to a blacklist of alleged Chinese military-linked companies, effectively banning U.S. investors from buying its shares starting late next year. SMIC has said it has no ties to the Chinese military.

The Trump administration has frequently used the entity list—which now includes nearly 300 China-based companies and affiliates—to impact key Chinese industries. Other than Huawei and about 150 affiliates, ZTE Corp was also placed on the list due to a violation of sanctions.

Surveillance camera maker Hikvision was put on the blacklist due to the CCP’s persecution of several groups. Hikvision’s public security manager, Qian Hao, in 2013 bragged that its camera networks “can help preserve stability by seeing which family someone comes from, then persuading their relatives to stop them from harmful behavior, like with Falun Gong,” a meditation practice whose adherents have been subject to rampant human rights abuses since July 1999. Hikvision’s technology is also involved in the CCP’s surveillance operations of the Uyghur minority in Xinjiang.

Reuters contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times