US Expands Blacklist To Include China’s Top AI Startups Ahead of Trade Talks

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: The U.S. government widened its trade blacklist to include some of China’s top artificial intelligence startups, punishing Beijing for its treatment of Muslim minorities and ratcheting up tensions ahead of high-level trade talks in Washington this week. The decision, which drew a sharp rebuke from Beijing, targets 20 Chinese public security bureaus and eight companies including video surveillance firm Hikvision, as well as leaders in facial recognition technology SenseTime Group Ltd and Megvii Technology Ltd. The action bars the firms from buying components from U.S. companies without U.S. government approval — a potentially crippling move for some of them. It follows the same blueprint used by Washington in its attempt to limit the influence of Huawei for what it says are national security reasons. The Commerce Department said in a filing the “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 Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups.” “The U.S. Government and Department of Commerce cannot and will not tolerate the brutal suppression of ethnic minorities within China,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

In response, foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the U.S. should stop interfering in its affairs and that it will continue to take firm and resolute measures to protect its sovereign security.