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US introduces trade bans on more Chinese firms

The US government has included 12 more Chinese firms to its trading blacklist over their alleged involvement in developing technologies for the Chinese military and supporting Pakistan's nuclear activities.

The US Department of Commerce (DoC) said on 24 November that the firms were added to its Entity List, inclusion on which prohibits the identified entities from involvement in the export, re-export, or in-country transfer of US dual-use technologies.

It said some of the Chinese firms were included in the list as part of the DoC's drive to “prevent US emerging technologies from being used for [China's] quantum computing efforts that support military applications”.

Such applications, it said, included counter-stealth and counter-submarine applications, and the ability to break encryption or develop unbreakable encryption.

Some Chinese firms were also added to the list because of their alleged contributions to “Pakistan's unsafeguarded nuclear activities or ballistic missile programme”, said the DoC.

As of November 2021, the US Entity List, which is administered by the DoC's Bureau of Industry and Security, contains several hundred Chinese entities and their subsidiaries, far more than any other country.

Chinese inclusion on the list has expanded substantially in recent years as US-China relations have deteriorated and US concerns about China's military-technology acquisition methods have grown. Such US concerns have been focused on China's military-civil fusion (MCF) strategy.

At the time of publication, China had not responded to the US announcement of the trading ban. However, in the past, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said it rejects US efforts to suppress Chinese high-tech companies through the Entity List.

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