U.S. Blacklists Chinese Tech Firms Over Treatment Of Uighurs

US seeks to blacklist Chinese artificial intelligence firms

US seeks to blacklist Chinese artificial intelligence firms

According to an update to the US Federal Register set to be published Wednesday, the blacklisted firms included video surveillance company Hikvision, as well as artificial intelligence companies Megvii Technology and SenseTime.

A Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Tuesday urged the U.S. side to stop interfering in China's internal affairs, after the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that it would add 28 Chinese organizations to its entity list.

About 28 new Chinese companies have been added to the U.S. export blacklist in a reaction by the United States government to China's repression of Muslim minorities, the Wall Street Journal reported.

He also said China would take steps to "safeguard its interests" and denied that the government abused human rights in the far west region of Xinjiang.

Secretary of commerce Wilbur Ross said: "The US government can not and will not tolerate the brutal suppression of ethnic minorities within China".

Hikvision said in a statement Monday that it respects human rights and strongly opposes the Trump administration's decision.

SenseTime said it is "deeply disappointed" with this decision and it has been actively developing an AI code of ethics to ensure its technologies are used in a responsible way.

Sense Time and Megvii are known for the development of computer vision technology that underpins facial recognition products, while iFlytek is known for its voice recognition and translation services.

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Also to be placed on the Commerce Department's "entity list" are the Xinjiang region's public security bureau and 18 other municipal and county public security bureaus as well as the province's police college.

"Specifically, these entities 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 Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups in the XUAR [Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region]", the US Commerce Department filing noted.

China demands the US lift recently imposed sanctions on tech companies and to stop interfering in its internal affairs.

Reuters reported in August Hikvision receives almost 30 percent of its 50 billion yuan (US$7 billion) in revenue from overseas.

Under the ruling, any U.S. company that wants to do business with those on the list has to apply for a licence to sidestep the ban.

The blacklisting of Huawei has already hurt many United States suppliers that depended on Huawei as the world's largest telecommunications company and second biggest smartphone vendor. Added to the list in June were five Chinese groups working in supercomputing. The detentions come on top of harsh travel restrictions and a massive surveillance network equipped with facial recognition technology.

China says those people are attending "vocational training centres" which are giving them jobs and helping them integrate into Chinese society, in the name of preventing terrorism.

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