Xiaomi, the Chinese smartphone maker, has sued the US government over a decision by Donald Trump in his last week as president to blacklist the company from the Pentagon that prevents Americans from investing in it.
The group, which has overtaken Apple to become the third-largest smartphone maker, has filed suit against Lloyd Austin, the US Secretary of Defense, and Janet Yellen, the Secretary of the Treasury, after adding them to a list of companies with suspected ties with the Chinese. army.
Last year, the Pentagon began compiling a list of Chinese companies allegedly associated with the People’s Liberation Army after the White House put pressure on the defense department to comply with a 1999 law that included the requirement. The Pentagon added Xiaomi to the blacklist on January 14.
The Trump administration then used the list as a basis for executing an executive order prohibiting Americans from investing in such companies.
Earlier this week, the Treasury extended the deadline for the ban to May 27. The extension was intended to give the new US administration time to evaluate the order as part of a comprehensive overhaul of Chinese policy implemented by Mr Trump in his final months. in the office.
Joe Biden’s administration has not specified whether she will keep the ban. But the new president would likely face political repercussions if he reversed the ban due to bipartisan pressure from lawmakers on Capitol Hill to maintain a tough stance on the Chinese Communist Party.
Mr. Biden has shown early signs that he intends to take a tough approach. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said this week that he agreed with the Trump administration that China committed “genocide” in Xinjiang Province with the detention and repression of more than 1 million Uyghur Muslims.
Separately, the Pentagon on Friday accused the Chinese military of continuing a “series of aggressive and destabilizing actions” after the The Washington City Times reported that Chinese warplanes simulated an attack on a US aircraft carrier during a recent raid on Taiwan’s air defense zone.
Xiaomi said in its lawsuit that forbidding US investors to participate in it would “cause immediate and irreparable damage” and damage its global reputation.
The Beijing-based company said the US government had failed to provide any evidence to support the Pentagon’s claim that it calls “ Communist Chinese Military Companies. ” The designation of Chinese companies as CCMCs was part of a much broader and aggressive effort against Chinese entities that the US said could harm their own security.
The Trump administration put a few dozen groups on the Pentagon list, and dozens more on the trade department’s “ entity list, ” making it very difficult for US companies to export technology to those companies.
Earlier on Friday, Senator Marco Rubio and two other Senate Republican hawks, Tom Cotton and Ben Sasse, asked Gina Raimondo, the trade secretary candidate, to clarify the comments from her confirmation hearing in which she refused to commit Huawei on the ‘entity list’ hold. ”.
Huawei has a long track record of economic espionage and supporting human rights violations in the PRC [People’s Republic of China] and elsewhere ‘, they wrote in a letter. “We ask you to respond in writing with your opinion whether you envision a scenario in which you would do so. . . remove Huawei, or its subsidiaries, or spin-off companies from the entity list. “
The Pentagon and the Treasury have not responded to a request for comment on the Xiaomi lawsuit.
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