China is preparing to place U.S. companies including Apple and Boeing on an “unreliable entities list” in response to newly announced sanctions on tech giant Huawei.
“China will take forceful countermeasures to protect its own legitimate rights,” a source told China’s government-owned Global Times. The country could cease purchasing planes made by Boeing, and impose restrictions or even launch investigations into Qualcomm, Cisco, or Apple under Chinese anti-monopoly and cybersecurity laws.
The threat comes after the U.S. Commerce Department announced sanctions that would prevent companies from selling semiconductor ships to Huawei if the chips are manufactured with American technology. The U.S. considers Huawei a national security threat, alleging that the Chinese government can gain access to data gathered by Huawei networks around the world.
Senator Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) welcomed the new sanctions on Friday.
“Let’s cut to the chase: China’s main export is espionage, and the distinction between the Chinese Communist Party and Chinese ‘private-sector’ businesses like Huawei is imaginary,” Sasse said in a statement. “Huawei’s supply chain depends on contracts with American companies and the Commerce Department ought to take a careful look at how we can effectively disrupt our adversary.”
The Global Times reported earlier this week that the Chinese government was considering sanctions on U.S. lawmakers who have taken a hawkish line against the country, including Senators Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) and Tom Cotton (R., Ark.).