The top Chinese chipmaker SMIC and Chinese drone manufacturer SZ DJI Technology Co were among the dozens of Chinese companies that the United States government added to its trade blacklist on Friday in the latest measure implemented by the US President Donald Trump to increase pressure on China in the few final weeks that he remains in office.
The addition of SMIC and dozens of additional companies to the blacklist is being viewed as an effort by the Republican Trump to cement his image and position as a tough-on-China legacy holder is his years-long trade war with China during his presidency and many other economic tussles.
The action against SMIC “stems from China’s military-civil fusion (MCF) doctrine and evidence of activities between SMIC and entities of concern in the Chinese military industrial complex,” said the US Commerce Department.
The world’s biggest drone company DJI was also added to the trade blacklist by the department together with AGCU Scientech; China National Scientific Instruments and Materials, and Kuang-Chi Group for allegedly enabling “wide-scale human rights abuses within China through abusive genetic collection and analysis or high-technology surveillance,” the department said.
There were no comments from the Chinese companies available in the media.
The department would “not allow advanced U.S. technology to help build the military of an increasingly belligerent adversary,” said US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in a statement.
In order to prevent SMIC from accessing technology to gain capacity to develop semiconductors at advanced technology levels – 10 nanometers or below, licenses would be presumptively denied by the government, Ross said.
In addition to noting the expanding sanctions of the US on Chinese firms, China’s State Councillor Wang Yi, while addressing the Asia Society on Friday, also urged Washington to stop its “arbitrary suppression” of firms from China. Yi is also the foreign minister of China.
A list of 77 companies and affiliates were released by the Commerce Department which were added to the so called entity list which also included Chinese companies. There were previous reports in the media that the US government would be adding about 80 companies, and most of those companies would be from China.
If reports of the blacklisting of the Chinese companies were true, it would be further evidence of oppression of Chinese companies by the US, said the foreign ministry of China, and added that “necessary measures” to protect the rights of Chines companies to do business would be taken by Beijing.
“We urge the U.S. to cease its mistaken behavior of unwarranted oppression of foreign companies,” ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a regular news conference in Beijing on Friday.
No comments on the issue were available from SMIC.
Some of the Chinese companies included in the so called entity list of the US also includes such companies that the US believes is involved in human rights abuses while others are engaged in helping the Chinese government to construct and militarize artificial islands in the South China Sea, said reports.
(Adapted from CNBC.com)