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US blacklists Chinese surveillance companies over human rights abuses

China-based Hikvision and other companies were listed

CHINA-US-TRADE-DIPLOMACY-HIKVISION FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images

The United States is adding eight Chinese technology companies to its trading blacklist, barring some major producers of surveillance equipment from working with American companies.

In a filing released Monday, the Commerce Department said it was adding 28 entities to the list that have been “implicated in human rights violations and abuses in the implementation of China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups” in the country’s Xinjian region. The listed entities include Chinese state security bureaus, as well as the eight companies.

Those companies include Hikvision and Dahua Technology, massive international purveyors of video surveillance cameras. Also included on the list was SenseTime, a Chinese AI startup, and speech recognition company iFlytek.

The filing did not detail the allegations apart from saying they were “activities contrary to the foreign policy of the United States,” but China is known to have launched a high-tech surveillance apparatus to monitor and imprison minority groups in Xinjian.

The move is the latest US policy crackdown on Chinese businesses. Most prominently, the US blacklisted Huawei over security concerns earlier this year, a decision the company has pushed back against. Meanwhile, the US is continuing to pursue a trade deal with China, while President Trump has suggested that Huawei’s status could be considered in the discussions.