U.S. Adds Chinese Firms Implicated in Uighur Oppression to Export Blacklist

(Jason Lee/Reuters)

The U.S. placed 28 Chinese firms on an export blacklist Monday night, citing their role in the repression of China’s Uighur Muslim minority.

The decision came days before Chinese officials were scheduled to arrive in Washington for high-level trade discussions.

A spokesman for the U.S. Department of Commerce, which announced the blacklist, insisted the decision was unrelated to the upcoming trade talks. However, China will likely perceive the two as being connected, according to Matthew Goodman, senior adviser for Asian economics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“It’s going to complicate the discussions this week . . . the timing is going to be awkward for the Chinese,” Goodman told the Wall Street Journal.

The Commerce Department stated that the entities targeted by the blacklist “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 Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups.”

The entities include Megvii Technology Inc., Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology,  and SenseTime Group Ltd., all of which specialize in facial recognition technology and video surveillance.

The export blacklist bars U.S. suppliers from providing technology to any of the targeted firms without a license. While the move by the Commerce Department carries symbolic value, the blacklist is not projected to significantly harm the targeted firms as American companies do not form an integral part of their supply chain.

China-U.S. relations were already put in a sensitive position this week after the manager of the Houston Rockets basketball team tweeted in support of Hong Kong democracy protesters, prompting the official Chinese basketball association to severe ties with the team.

NBA officials tried to contain the fallout by apologizing for Morey’s intrusion into Chinese politics, but were then accused by U.S. officials of kowtowing to Beijing. Senator Ted Cruz (R., Tex.) said that the NBA was “assisting Chinese communist censorship” and Senator Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) sent a letter to Silver chastising the league for backing down in the face of Chinese censorship.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Elizabeth Warren Is Not Honest

If you want to run for office, political consultants will hammer away at one point: Tell stories. People respond to stories. We’ve been a story-telling species since our fur-clad ancestors gathered around campfires. Don’t cite statistics. No one can remember statistics. Make it human. Make it relatable. ... Read More
White House

More Evidence the Guardrails Are Gone

At the end of last month, just as the news of the Ukraine scandal started dominating the news cycle, I argued that we're seeing evidence that the guardrails that staff had placed around Donald Trump's worst instincts were in the process of breaking down. When Trump's staff was at its best, it was possible to draw ... Read More
National Review


Today is my last day at National Review. It's an incredibly bittersweet moment. While I've only worked full-time since May, 2015, I've contributed posts and pieces for over fifteen years. NR was the first national platform to publish my work, and now -- thousands of posts and more than a million words later -- I ... Read More
Economy & Business

Andrew Yang, Snake Oil Salesman

Andrew Yang, the tech entrepreneur and gadfly, has definitely cleared the bar for a successful cause candidate. Not only has he exceeded expectations for his polling and fundraising, not only has he developed a cult following, not only has he got people talking about his signature idea, the universal basic ... Read More

Feminists Have Turned on Pornography

Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the feminist movement has sought to condemn traditional sexual ethics as repressive, misogynistic, and intolerant. As the 2010s come to a close, it might be fair to say that mainstream culture has reached the logical endpoint of this philosophy. Whereas older Americans ... Read More
White House

The Impeachment Defense That Doesn’t Work

If we’ve learned anything from the last couple of weeks, it’s that the “perfect phone call” defense of Trump and Ukraine doesn’t work. As Andy and I discussed on his podcast this week, the “perfect” defense allows the Democrats to score easy points by establishing that people in the administration ... Read More