The Trump administration has announced that it is adding 59 Chinese entities to its export-control Entity List, effectively blocking Chinese companies and other institutions from using American technologies and goods for malign activities. The restrictions have been placed as these entities acted to undermine American foreign policy interests as well as national security.
Among the Chinese entities placed on the list:
- Four entities were sanctioned for being involved in human rights abuses, including providing the communist regime with surveillance equipment and DNA testing materials. “We urge the Chinese Communist Party to respect the human rights of the people of China, including Tibetan Buddhists, Christians, Falun Gong members, Uyghur Muslims, and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups,” Pompeo said in a press statement.
- Nineteen entities were added for stealing trade secrets of American companies to benefit the Chinese military-industrial complex, undermining Washington’s efforts to counter the trafficking of nuclear and radioactive materials, and so on.
- Twenty-five Chinese shipbuilding research institutes and six additional entities were sanctioned for providing support to the PLA Navy.
- Five Chinese state-owned corporations were restricted for their role in intimidating other nations who stake claims in the South China Sea.
One notable company on the blacklist is Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC), which is China’s largest chips manufacturer and is a major supplier to companies like Qualcomm. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross noted that the blacklisting would prevent SMIC from using U.S. technology to support the Chinese regime’s military activities. In November, the U.S. Defense Department had added SMIC to a blacklist that effectively prohibited American investors from buying the company’s share next year. In September, the Commerce Department sent a letter to U.S. companies, notifying them that exporting certain products to China would require a license.
On Dec. 16, the U.S government sanctioned Chinese and UAE companies for providing services to Triliance Petrochemical Co. Ltd., which enabled it to move or broker petrochemical exports from Iran. The U.S. Department of Treasury noted that the petrochemical sales ended up funding the Iranian regime, thereby bolstering the corrupt officials to support foreign terror groups as well as engage in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The sanctioned Chinese companies included Petrochem South East Ltd. and Donghai International Ship Management Ltd.
On Dec. 17, Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette issued a prohibition order, banning electric utilities from procuring certain power systems from China with the aim of supplying it to defense facilities. “The bulk-power system (BPS) is the backbone of our Nation’s energy infrastructure and is fundamental to our national security, the American economy, and our way of life… It is imperative we secure the BPS against attacks and exploitation by foreign adversaries. This order is one of several steps this Administration is taking to greatly diminish the ability of our foreign adversaries to target our critical electric infrastructure,” Brouillette said in a statement.
The Trump administration is also going after Chinese companies’ access to American capital. On Dec. 18, President Trump signed a law that mandates Chinese companies to follow U.S. accounting rules as established by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). Called the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, failure to comply will result in the Chinese company being expelled from American stock exchanges.
The bill was passed unanimously by both House and the Senate. At present, Beijing prevents foreign regulators like PCAOB and the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) from conducting a full audit of publicly traded companies. The newly passed legislation is expected to negatively affect Chinese companies like Alibaba, JD.com, China Mobile, etc. who are listed in stock exchanges like Nasdaq and NYSE. Earlier this month, Washington had sanctioned 14 Chinese officials for their involvement in eroding the autonomy of Hong Kong.