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US blacklists 34 Chinese tech companies, citing “brain control weaponry”

A total of 37 entities from China, Georgia, Malaysia and Turkey were placed on the Department of Commerce’s Entity List

Chinese President Xi Jinping visits the Academy of Military Medical Sciences and the Faculty of Medicine from Tsinghua University in Shenzhen, to inspect the progress of the coronavirus vaccine. Photo credit: Ding Haitao / Xinhua / Latin America News Agency via REUTERS

The US Department of Commerce added 34 Chinese technology and research organizations to its Entity List, citing ongoing threats to national security human rights violations, reaching as far as developing brain-control weaponry.

Also added to the list are three organizations in Georgia, one in Malaysia, and two in Turkey. Out of this list, three are listed in two countries simultaneously. Meaning, the final number of entities currently added to the list is 37.

The Chinese Academy of Military Sciences (AMMS), along with 11 of its research institutes, were blacklisted under the destination that they “use biotechnology processes to support Chinese military end users, to include purported brain-control weaponry.”

From PLA modernization to aiding Iran's missile program

“The scientific pursuit of biotechnology and medical innovation can save lives. Unfortunately, the PRC is choosing to use these technologies to pursue control over its people and its repression of members of ethnic and religious minority groups,” said US Secretary of Commerce, Gina M. Raimondo.

“We cannot allow US commodities, technologies, and software that support medical science and biotechnical innovation to be diverted toward uses contrary to US national security,” added Raimondo.

Other Chinese companies were added to the list for acquiring or attempting to acquire US-origin items in support of military modernization for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA); for supplying or attempting to supply US-origin items that could support Iran’s missile program; and for “involvement in activities that are contrary to the national security and/or foreign policy interests of the United States.” The entities in Georgia, Malaysia and Turkey also fall under the last category.

For the entities added, BIS (The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security) imposes stricter license requirements, no license exemptions for exports, reexports or transfers, and a license review policy of a presumption of denial.

On December 10th, International Human Rights Day, the US Department of the Treasury imposed sanctions on dozens of entities, Chinese AI company SenseTime, which has developed facial recognition programs “that can determine a target’s ethnicity, with a particular focus on identifying ethnic Uyghurs.”

As a result, SenseTime delayed its $767 million Hong Kong Stock Exchange IPO, but eventually launched it on Monday (today). SenseTime was added to the BIS Entity List in 2019.

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