(PatriotWise.com) — In late January, the Department of Defense added over a dozen Chinese companies to its list of entities identified as working with the Chinese military as part of the federal government’s effort to prevent US technology from aiding China, Reuters reported.
The entities added to the updated list included Chinese artificial intelligence company Megvii, memory chip manufacturer YMTC, Hesai Technology, and NetPosa.
The Pentagon said in a statement that the list was part of the Defense Department’s effort to highlight and counter China’s “Military-Civil fusion strategy” to “acquire advanced technologies and expertise” from Chinese companies, research programs, and universities.
The Chinese Embassy in Washington condemned the move to add additional companies to the Pentagon’s list, saying through a spokesperson that maintaining the list was counter to the US government’s “alleged commitment to market competition and international free trade.”
Beijing’s Foreign Ministry urged Washington to “rectify” the “discriminatory practices” and allow Chinese companies a “just and non-discriminatory environment” in which to operate.
In a press briefing last Thursday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Winbin said the practice was a violation of the “principles of market competition and international trade rules.” Wang said the Pentagon’s action undermined “the confidence of foreign enterprises” that invest and operate in the United States.
In a statement to Reuters, Hesai Technology expressed disappointment at being added to the list and denied that it sold products to or had links with the Chinese military.
While getting placed on the list does not immediately ban a company from doing business in the United States, it does harm a company’s reputation and is a stark warning to American companies and entities about the risk of conducting business with a listed company.
Presence on the Pentagon’s list also increases pressure on the US Treasury Department to impose sanctions on a company.
The updated Pentagon list comes as US officials, including FBI Director Christopher Wray, warned that hackers linked to Beijing were preparing to target critical infrastructure in the United States, including the electric grid, gas and oil pipelines, water treatment plants, and transportation hubs.
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