President Joe Biden nearly doubled the list of Chinese companies whose shares are out of bounds for US investors
“It is intended to ensure that US investments are not supporting Chinese companies that undermine the security or values of the United States and our allies,” the order said.
The revised list includes companies that Washington has accused of monitoring or repressing religious and ethnic minorities and contributing to “serious human rights abuses.”
Many of the companies on the expanded list were already on a Defense Department blacklist that limits access to US technology and investment.
Telecommunications equipment maker Huawei Technologies, China’s major state-owned telecommunications companies and China National Offshore Oil Corp are all on the new list of 59 companies. The earlier list included 31.
There was no immediate comment from Beijing. But Chinese officials have accused the US of distorting the concept of national security and abusing state power and warned that Beijing would take unspecified necessary measures to protect the rights and interests of Chinese enterprises.
Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation, or SMIC, was not on the original list of restricted securities investments. It plays a leading role in the ruling party’s effort to reduce reliance on US and other foreign technology by making the Chinese supplier of processor chips and other components.
Restrictions on investment in companies are effective from August 2. The companies are also included on the Treasury Department’s Foreign Assets Control List. The executive order signed by Trump last year required US investors to sell their stake in listed companies by November.
Separately, the Commerce Department has placed China National Offshore Oil Corp, the country’s third-largest national oil company, on an economic blacklist in what it described as “reckless and belligerent actions” in disputed waters of the South China Sea.
This is a reference to CNOOC’s involvement in offshore drilling in disputed waters of the South China Sea, where Beijing has overlapping territorial claims with other countries including Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia, as well as Taiwan.
The Commerce Department list forbids US companies from exporting or transferring technology with designated companies unless permission has been obtained from the US government. About 60 Chinese companies were added to the list in December, including drone maker DJI and semiconductor firm SMIC.
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp., which surpassed Apple Inc. in terms of sales in the third quarter of 2020. 3 as the world’s number 3 smartphone maker, was removed from an earlier investment blacklist after suing the US government and demanding that it be removed from the People’s Liberation Army of China.
Xiaomi is a Beijing-based company known for its value-for-money smartphones and smart devices.