U.S. blacklists 34 entities, including more than 10 from China -Commerce Dept.

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The Biden administration on Friday added 14 Chinese companies and other entities to its economic blacklist over alleged human rights abuses and high-tech surveillance in Xinjiang.

The Commerce Department said the companies had been “implicated in human rights violations and abuses in the implementation of China’s campaign of repression, mass detention, and high technology surveillance against Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.”

Beijing denies the alleged abuses.

Reuters first reported the planned additions late Thursday.

They include the China Academy of Electronics and Information Technology; Xinjiang Lianhai Chuangzhi Information Technology Co; Shenzhen Cobber Information Technology Co; Xinjiang Sailing Information Technology; Beijing Geling Shentong Information Technology; Shenzhen Hua’antai Intelligent Technology Co., Ltd.; and Chengdu Xiwu Security System Alliance Co., Ltd..

They are among 34 entities being added from various countries around the world, the department said.

The action follows its decision last month to add five other companies and other Chinese entities to the blacklist over allegations of forced labor in the far western region of China. 

This is not the first time the U.S. government has targeted Chinese firms linked to allegations of high-tech surveillance activity in Xinjiang.

In 2019, the Trump administration added some of China’s top artificial intelligence startups to its economic blacklist over its treatment of Muslim minorities.

The Commerce Department under Trump targeted 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 Commerce Department said in 2019 the entities were implicated in “high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups.”

UN experts and rights groups estimate more than a million people, most of them Uyghurs and members of other Muslim minorities, have been detained in recent years in a vast system of camps in Xinjiang.

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