US commerce department bans six Chinese companies from buying sensitive US technologies

Trade tensions continue to escalate

May 1, 2017 - Beverly Hills, CA, U.S. - Wilbur Ross, U.S. secretary of commerce, speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., on Monday, May 1, 2017. © 2017 Patrick T. Fallon

The US Government has added six Chinese firms to its naughty list – the so-called Entity List- on Monday, banning them from buying sensitive US technologies.

These Chinese companies were singled out for their dealings with Iran and China’s People’s Liberation Army, according to a statement issued by the Commerce Department. Four Chinese companies were accused of violating USA export controls by procuring US products for Iran’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and military programs and the other two of supplying controlled technologies to organizations affiliated with the Chinese army.

“We are putting individuals, businesses, and organizations across the world on notice that they will be held accountable for supporting Iran’s WMD activities and other illicit schemes,” Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in a statement. “Moreover, we cannot allow China’s civil-military integration strategy to undermine U.S. national security through prohibited technology transfer plots orchestrated by state actors.”

The banned Chinese entities are Avin Electronics Technology, Longkui Qu, Multi-Mart Electronics Technology, Taizhou CBM-Future New Material Science and Technology, Tenco Technology and Yutron Technology, according to Reuters.

The US Commerce Department’s move to put six Chinese firms on its Entity List comes amid escalating trade tensions between China and the United States. Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross is one of the major negotiators of the on-going Sino-US trade talks.

China announced yesterday its plan to raise tariffs of US imports in retaliation of last week’s US tariff hike, shortly after US president Donald Trump tweeted “China will be hurt very badly” should there be no trade deal between the world’s two largest economies.