The US administration has blacklisted 37 companies in China, Myanmar and Pakistan over various allegations.
Reuters reported on Friday that the United States Commerce Department, which is in charge of export controls, added BGI Research and BGI Tech Solutions (Hong Kong) following allegations that the companies pose a significant risk of aiding Chinese government surveillance.
The Commerce Department said, “The actions of these entities concerning the collection and analysis of genetic data present a significant risk of diversion to China’s military programs”.
The Biden-led administration added 26 more Chinese entities to its trade blacklist, making it difficult for targeted businesses to receive shipments of US goods from suppliers. Among the new additions were several entities Commerce said were supplying or intending to supply a sanctioned entity in Iran, as well as 3 firms in Russia, Belarus, and Taiwan that Commerce said were supplying Russia’s military.
Tensions have been particularly high since the Biden administration shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon that had crossed a huge portion of the United States last month.
Assistant Secretary Thea Kendler said in a statement, “When we identify entities that pose a national security or foreign policy concern for the United States, we add them to the Entity List to ensure we can scrutinize their transactions”.
Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement Matthew Axelrod said in a statement, “We cannot allow our adversaries to misuse and abuse technology to commit human rights abuses and other acts of oppression. That’s why we’re committed to preventing bad actors from siphoning off our technology. We will take an all-tools approach to combat this threat”.
Back in 2021, the US pulled a similar stunt when it placed 28 technology firms from Pakistan, China, Russia, and Japan on an export blacklist for allegedly helping develop and dole out military and, in some cases, nuclear projects.