Today, the Bureau of Industry and Security of the Department of Commerce announced that it will add 28 Chinese governmental and commercial organizations to the Entity List for "engaging in or enabling activities contrary to the foreign policy interests of the United States."
This action constricts the export of items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to entities that have been implicated in human rights violations and abuses in China’s campaign targeting Uighurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR).
“The U.S. Government and Department of Commerce cannot and will not tolerate the brutal suppression of ethnic minorities within China,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This action will ensure that our technologies, fostered in an environment of individual liberty and free enterprise, are not used to repress defenseless minority populations.”
The additions include the XUAR People’s Government Public Security Bureau, 19 subordinate elements, and eight commercial entities. Located in XUAR and throughout China, these entities have all been implicated in the implementation of China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, and high-technology surveillance.
The Commerce Department said the Entity List "identifies persons or organizations reasonably believed to be involved, or to pose a significant risk of being or becoming involved, in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States."
The decision targets 20 Chinese public security bureaus and eight companies including video surveillance firm Hikvision, as well as leaders in facial recognition technology SenseTime Group Ltd and Megvii Technology Ltd.
The action bars the firms from buying components from U.S. companies without U.S. government approval.
Hikvision, with a market value of about $42 billion, calls itself the world’s largest maker of video surveillance gear.
SenseTime, valued at around $4.5 billion in a May 2018 fundraising, is one of the world’s most valuable AI unicorns while Megvii, backed by e-commerce giant Alibaba, is valued at around $4 billion and is preparing an IPO to raise at least $500 million in Hong Kong.
The other companies on the list are speech recognition firm iFlytek Co, surveillance equipment maker Zhejiang Dahua Technology, digital data forensics products maker Xiamen Meiya Pico Information Co and Yixin Science and Technology Co.