US President Joe Biden just signed an executive order that replaces as well as expands a Trump-era blacklist of Chinese companies that US entities are banned from investing in.
Companies on that blacklist, which was previously maintained by the US Department of Defense, have been accused by Washington of supporting China’s military industrial complex. Biden’s order adds roughly 10 publicly listed companies to the blacklist, which now sanctions about 59 firms, and effectively shifts it to the US Treasury Department, Reuters reported.
Blacklisted firms include familiar names like Huawei and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC), China’s biggest chipmaker. It’s worth mentioning that both the US and China are engaged in an escalating race to secure a steady supply of semiconductor chips amid a global shortage.
A senior administration official said that more companies are expected to be added to the blacklist. Another official noted that the move builds on the Trump-enacted list, which the current administration views as flawed and vulnerable to legal challenges.
According to the executive order, the Biden administration also finds “that the use of Chinese surveillance technology outside the PRC (People’s Republic of China) and the development or use of Chinese surveillance technology to facilitate repression or serious human rights abuse constitute unusual and extraordinary threats.”
Beijing, of course, isn’t pleased with Biden’s order.
“The U.S. government is stretching the concept of national security, abusing national power and using every possible means to suppress and restrict Chinese enterprises,” said Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin.