Uyghur surveillance issue: US blacklists 8 Chinese investment firms photo Reuters
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Uyghur surveillance issue: US blacklists 8 Chinese investment firms

Dec 16, 2021, 6:12 AM
Rose De La Cruz

Rose De La Cruz

Columnist

The US will add eight more Chinese firms, including the biggest drone company, DJI Technology Co. Ltd to an investment blacklist this week. It earlier blacklisted AI company, SenseTime, which led to the company postponing its $767-million IPO in Hongkong.

THE United States will add eight Chinese companies, including the world’s largest commercial drone manufacturer DJI Technology Co. Ltd, to an investment blacklist this week, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

The US Treasury will put the companies on its “Chinese military-industrial complex companies” blacklist on Thursday because of their alleged involvement in surveillance of the Uyghur Muslim minority citing two people briefed on the move, the FT report was quoted by Reuters.

US investors are barred from taking stakes in companies on the list, which currently cites around 60 firms.

A DJI spokesperson declined to comment on the FT report but directed Reuters to the company’s statement when it was added to the US Commerce Department’s “Entity List” a year ago for the same reasons.

That listing prohibited the company from buying or using US technology or components.

DJI said it had done nothing to justify the move and it would continue to sell its products in the United States, where it has built up a large market.

The US Treasury did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

AI firm also in the list

The new additions would come just days after artificial intelligence start-up SenseTime Group was placed on the same Treasury list, leading the company to postpone its $767-million Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO). SenseTime said the accusations against it were unfounded.

UN experts and rights groups estimate over a million people, mainly Uyghurs and members of other Muslim minorities, have been detained in recent years in a vast system of camps in China’s far-west region of Xinjiang.

Some foreign lawmakers and parliaments have labeled the treatment of Uyghurs as genocide, citing evidence of forced sterilizations and deaths inside the camps. China denies these claims and says Uyghur population growth rates are above the national average.

The FT named the other companies being added to the list as image-recognition software firm Megvii, supercomputer manufacturer Dawning Information Industry, facial recognition specialist CloudWalk Technology, cyber security group Xiamen Meiya Pico, artificial intelligence company Yitu Technology and cloud computing firms Leon Technology and NetPosa Technologies.

Tags: #USTreasury, #investmentblacklist, #8Chinesecompanies, #China, #Uyghurs


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