WASHINGTON – The U.S. Commerce Department on Monday placed 28 Chinese public security bureaus and companies -- including video surveillance company Hikvision and seven other companies -- on a U.S. trade blacklist over Beijing's treatment of Uighur Muslims and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities. Those added to the so-called Entity List include the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region People's Government Public Security Bureau, 19 subordinate government agencies and eight commercial firms, according to a Commerce Department filing. The companies include some of China's leading artificial intelligence firms such as SenseTime Group Ltd., and Megvii Technology Ltd., which is backed by Alibaba, as well as Hikvision, formally known as Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co. Ltd., Zhejiang Dahua Technology, IFLYTEK Co. Xiamen Meiya Pico Information Co., and Yixin Science and Technology Co. Megvii filed for an IPO this summer of at least $500 million in Hong Kong, while SenseTime raised $620 million in a second round of funding in just two months last year and is one of the world's most valuable unicorns in artificial intelligence. While U.S. officials said the announcement was not tied to this week's resumption of trade talks with China, the announcement sets the tone for a potentially more aggressive positioning by Washington in negotiations with Beijing to end an 15 month trade war between the world's biggest economies. Reuters reported on the planned additions earlier on Monday, before the Commerce Department made it official.
Britain's cyber-security watchdog has warned telecommunications companies against dealing with the Chinese manufacturer ZTE, citing "potential risks" to national security. The US commerce department has imposed a seven-year-ban on companies selling products and services to ZTE – which makes mobile phones and network equipment – alleging it failed to crack down on personnel who sold sensitive US technology to Iran and North Korea. ZTE halted trading of its shares in Hong Kong and Shenzhen on Tuesday following the announcement of the US ban, while Beijing warned it would "safeguard" its companies if necessary. In Britain, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said: "NCSC assess that the national security risks arising from the use of ZTE equipment or services within the context of the existing UK telecommunications infrastructure cannot be mitigated." According to the Financial Times, a letter from the NCSC to companies states that the UK telecoms network already contains a "significant amount" of equipment supplied by Huawei, also a Chinese manufacturer.
In the early 1980s, a cluster of fledging computer companies opened up shop in a chaotic corner of northwest Beijing, near the campuses of Peking and Tsinghua Universities. Electronics Street, as the area became known, was a tangle of sturdy bicycles and hand-drawn signs, loud with heated bouts of haggling. Dusty banners hung over pedestrians' heads, while boxes of copy paper stacked 10 or 12 high blocked their path. Pirated software was so abundant that some preferred the moniker Crook Street. The existence of a burgeoning PC market was remarkable, given that many Chinese still did not own a refrigerator. But more remarkable was that the businesses of Electronics Street were private enterprises. Their foray into capitalism was an experiment launched with China's economic reforms, which early on were linked to investments in science and technology.
The bombshell Paradise Papers are reportedly implicating key members of the Trump administration. On Nov. 5, one of the largest data leaks in history revealed the offshore endeavors of some of the world's most influential people. The Paradise Papers refers to a trove of 13.4 million documents that expose the offshore assets of some of the world's biggest companies such as Nike, Apple, and Uber. The leak, which is one of the biggest in history and comes about 18 months after the Panama Papers leak, exposes how these companies and individuals "avoid taxes through increasingly imaginative bookkeeping maneuvers," according to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, a global network of more than 200 investigative journalists in 70 countries who collaborate on in-depth investigative stories, according to its website, which has access to the documents. Most of the leaked files come from an offshore legal firm called Appleby, which was founded in Bermuda but has offices in Hong Kong, the Cayman Islands, Shanghai, and other locations.
WASHINGTON/BEIJING – The Trump administration on Tuesday slapped travel bans on Chinese officials involved in a massive crackdown on Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in its west. The State Department said it would not issue visas to Chinese government and Communist Party officials believed to be responsible for or complicit in mass detentions and abuses in Xinjiang province. It did not identify the officials or say how many were affected by the ban, which can also be applied to their immediate family members. U.S. lawmakers have specifically asked for action against Chen Quanguo, the Communist Party chief for Xinjiang and a member of the party's powerful Politburo, and U.S. officials have previously mentioned him when saying the Trump administration was considering sanctions against officials linked to China's crackdown on Muslims. Chen earlier led iron-fisted policies aimed at crushing dissent in Tibet and has gained a reputation within the party for his handling of minority groups.