China Accuses US of Targeting Companies

China Accuses US of Targeting Companies
U.S. Department of Commerce. Photo by John Sonderman

China accused the U.S. of unjustly targeting Chinese companies, including genetics analysis firm BGI Group, by imposing restrictions on their access to American technology over concerns of national security or human rights violations, the Associated Press reported.

The backlash comes after U.S. Commerce Department added 37 Chinese companies to a trade blacklist. It cited the potential for two BGI units to aid the Chinese government's surveillance system, which has been accused by human rights organizations of collecting genetic data from Muslim and minority groups.

Earlier, Reuters reported that BGI was collecting genetic information of millions of women for broad research on population traits, and was working with China's military.

Adding BGI Research and BGI Tech Solutions (Hongkong) Co., Ltd. to the "Entity List," means they should get permission from the government before acquiring sensitive U.S. technology.

According to the Commerce Department, other companies recently added to the list were implicated in Iran and Pakistan's military expansion or weapon development, as well as alleged human rights abuses in Myanmar.

The U.S. has claimed that China is attempting to use civilian firms to acquire technologies that can be used to develop weapons.

But Beijing has denied these allegations, accusing Washington of unjustly targeting Chinese companies for containing China’s technological progress.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Mao Ning called on the U.S. to “abandon ideological prejudice” and to stop using various excuses to suppress Chinese enterprises.

The Chinese government responded to U.S. limitations by establishing its own "unreliable entity" list of foreign firms that could jeopardize China's national sovereignty, security, or development interests.

Lockheed Martin Corp. and Raytheon Technologies Corp.'s Raytheon Missiles and Defense unit were included on the list after supplying arms to Taiwan. They cannot import goods into China or make new investments in the country.