Chinese Tech Giant Qihoo 360 Criticises US for 'Politicising Business'

Ruben Fields
May 25, 2020

"We urge the USA to correct its mistake, rescind the relevant decision, and stop interfering in China's internal affairs", Zhao said, according to a transcript the ministry released.

The new listing follow a similar October 2019 action when Commerce added 28 Chinese public security bureaus and companies including some of China's top artificial intelligence startups and video surveillance company Hikvision 002415.SZ to a U.S. trade blacklist over the treatment of Uighur Muslims.

The foreign ministry accused the Trump administration of interfering in China's affairs by adding eight companies accused of playing roles in a crackdown in its Muslim northwestern region of Xinjiang to an export blacklist. It has yet to say whether it will retaliate.

The Commerce Department said the nine companies and institutions on grounds were "complicit in human rights violations and abuses committed in China's campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labour and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs".

NetPosa 300367.SZ , amongst the companies whose facial recognition subsidiary is linked to the surveillance of Muslims in the country's far west.

The company accused of human rights violations, Aksu Huafu Textiles Co., said in a statement the USA decision "recklessly disregards facts".

China's fledgeling tech industries are growing processor chips, software program, telecom , electrical automotive batteries and different merchandise. The company said it won't be affected because any American materials can be replaced by Chinese sources.

The US is adding 33 Chinese companies and institutions to an economic blacklist including technology companies, some of which have links to American outfits.

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According to Qihoo 360, they helped Apple, Google, Microsoft, and other companies to discover thousands of security vulnerabilities and indirectly protect netizens.

Complaints about Beijing's expertise ambitions prompted Trump to boost duties on Chinese imports in 2018, triggering a tariff warfare that has weighed on worldwide commerce.

Another 24 companies and government organizations went on the list because there's a risk they could support the procurement of items for military use in China, according to the department.

The most prominent name on that list is Qihoo 360, a major supplier of anti-virus software and a web browser.

Companies including Huawei that were targeted by earlier US sanctions deny they are a threat.

Meanwhile, Bai Ming, deputy director of the Academy of International Trade and economic cooperation in the Ministry of Commerce, told a Chinese news outlet: "The U.S. suppression targets not only Chinese enterprises but focuses more on industries".

Another blacklisted firm, CloudMinds Technology Co., a maker of Internet-linked robots in Beijing, mentioned all its merchandise "are designed for civilian use".

Cloudminds expressed "deep regret" over the USA decision in a statement and called on the United States government to stop the "unfair treatment" as soon as possible.

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