Beijing says will take ‘whatever measures necessary’ to defend Chinese firms added to US entity list
- Statement comes as 33 more Chinese firms added to US entity list, curbing their ability to do business with American firms
- Speculation grows that China will soon roll out its own ‘unreliable entity list’ to retaliate against US firms
China “firmly opposes” the move by the United States to add those Chinese companies and government organisations to its “entity list”, the ministry said, urging the US “to immediately stop these wrong practices”.
Inclusion on the entity list will restrict US companies from doing business with these firms without the specific authorisation of the US government.
The targets include software giant Qihoo 360, cloud robot and services start-up CloudMinds and Skyeye Laser Technology, a lidar measurement company.
The Chinese government condemned the US for repeatedly using national security as a reason to impose business restrictions on foreign companies.
“[That] has caused serious damage to the international economic and trade order and is a serious threat to the security of global industrial supply chains. This is not conducive to China, or to the US, or the entire world,” the commerce ministry said.
But once again, the Chinese government did not elaborate on what steps it might take and whether it would activate its “unreliable entity list” as a countermeasure.
It has been over a year since Beijing first announced it had compiled a list of targets for striking back against Washington’s blacklist, which the US government has used as a tool to penalise foreign individuals, businesses and organisations by denying them access to goods produced by US companies, particularly in the technology sector.
But the issue resurfaced last month when state-run tabloid Global Times reported that China was ready to launch the list and impose restrictions or start investigating US technology companies, such as Qualcomm, Cisco and Apple. In addition, China was prepared to suspend the purchase of Boeing aircraft in retaliation for the US move to increase restrictions on Huawei’s ability to buy US technology.
British bank HSBC, US delivery company FedEx and electronic contract manufacturer Flex were expected to be among the first batch of targets for China’s economic blacklist during the second half of last year, given their alleged violations of Chinese law and regulation.
Hostilities between China and the US have now escalated further, extending from business and trade to technology and Hong Kong’s national security law.
Domestic demands for Beijing to sanction US firms cutting supplies to Huawei have been rising. But it is not known how far the Chinese government will go to penalise US technology firms and which companies will be targeted.