Upping the ante three days ahead of the next round of trade talks, US on Monday (7 October) announced that it was blocking a group of leading Chinese technology companies from buying US-made goods on the grounds of complicity in perpetrating human rights abuses in Xinjiang province of China.
The US Commerce Department, in a statement, said the entities had been targeted over the “brutal suppression” of Uygur Muslims and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang province.. China has been accused of detaining more than a million ethnic Uygurs in state run ‘concentration camps’
The expanded blacklist released by US Commerce Department includes 20 local public security bureaus in Xinjiang and eight technology majors, including Hikvision and Zhejiang Dahua Technology, two of the world’s largest manufacturers of video surveillance products.
The list also includes leaders in facial recognition technology, SenseTime Group and Megvii Technology, as well as other companies that specialise in voice recognition and data – iFlytek, Xiamen Meiya Pico Information and Yixin Science and Technology.
The Chinese foreign ministry was quick to respond criticising the decision. It accused US of using alleged human rights violations in the country’s Xinjiang region as an excuse for its interference in China’s internal affairs.
The Commerce Department had previously added Huawei and more than 100 affiliates to the export restriction list, for having close links with the Chinese government, military or intelligence services.