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USA blacklists 8 Chinese tech companies over human rights issues

USA blacklists 8 Chinese tech companies over human rights issues”

In a move that suggests there isn't an end in sight to the lingering trade war between the States and China, the Donald Trump administration has again hit hard at Beijing.

The US Commerce Department announced Monday it is blacklisting 28 Chinese entities that it says are implicated in rights violations and abuses targeting Uighurs and other mostly Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region.

Among the blacklisted bureaus and companies are the Xinjiang province's Public Security Bureau, together with 19 other government agencies.

The revised Entity List that came out late Monday adds several security bureaus with jurisdiction in China's western Xinjiang region, where the Uighurs are concentrated, as well as firms such as Hikvision and Dahua Technology, which are leading providers of video surveillance equipment.

It notes human rights groups and the United Nations say China has rounded up and detained more than a million Uighurs and other ethnic minorities in vast detention camps, where they are forced to renounce Islam, speak only in Mandarin Chinese and learn obedience to the communist government.

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From 2011 to 2017, Hikvision was the world's largest surveillance camera maker, owning 38% in market share globally in 2017, according to a research report by IHS Markit published in July 2018.

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Hikvision told Bloomberg that it "strongly opposes today's decision by the U.S. government", which is says "will hamper efforts by global companies to improve human rights around the world". Reuters reported in August Hikvision receives almost 30% of its 50 billion yuan ($7 billion) in revenue from overseas. The company said it has spent a year trying to "clarify misunderstandings about the company and address their concerns", and that this will hurt its USA business partners.

Hikivision didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

China faces growing condemnation from Western capitals and rights groups for setting up facilities that United Nations experts describe as mass detention centers holding more than 1 million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week at the Vatican that "when the state rules absolutely, it demands its citizens worship government, not God".

In June, the Commerce Department added Huawei and four other Chinese tech companies to the list over national security concerns.

The ban was included in the National Defense Authorization Act passed a year ago, and restricted the use of federal money to purchase telecommunications equipment and services and video surveillance equipment from "covered" telecommunications companies, citing national security concerns.



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