The Trump administration has added 28 Chinese security bureaus and giant technology companies to a U.S. trade blacklist over their involvement in the Asian nation’s treatment of its Muslim populations.
The U.S. Department of Commerce announced the move Monday, restricting U.S. companies from exporting products to the blacklisted entities — which include Hikvision, one of the world’s largest suppliers of video surveillance equipment. In a statement, the department said the entities have been connected to “human rights violations and abuses in China’s campaign targeting Uighurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities” in Xinjiang, an autonomous region in northwest China.
In a federal register notice, the U.S. Commerce Department said the entities have been implemented in aiding China with repression, mass arbitrary detention and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, Kazakhs and other Muslim groups in the region.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said that adding the entities to the blacklist will prevent U.S. companies from contributing to China’s repression efforts of its “defenceless minority populations.”
“The U.S. government and Department of Commerce cannot and will not tolerate the brutal suppression of ethnic minorities within China,” Ross said.
The move follows the United States utilizing its time at the U.N. General Assembly last month to condemn and criticize China for its treatment of Uighurs.
It also came days before the two nations were scheduled to start high-level trade negotiations on Thursday in Washington, D.C., the White House said Monday.
In a statement to CNBC, Hikvision said it opposes being added to the blacklist, and that it has been communicating with the Trump administration for the past year over its concerns.
“Punishing Hikvision, despite these engagements, will deter global companies from communicating with the U.S. government, hurt Hikvision’s U.S. business partners and negatively impact the U.S. economy,” the company said.
The other companies added to the list are Dahua Technology, IFLYTEK, Megvii Technology, Sense Time, Xiamen Meiya Pico Information, Yitu Technologies and Yixin Science and Technology.
Along with the companies, the Commerce Department blacklisted China’s public security bureau for the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region and 18 of its subordinate municipal and county public security bureaus, as well as one other subordinate institute.