China creating blacklist to hit back at U.S. for Huawei ban

China's Great Hall of the People, in Tiananmen Square, Beijing. (Thomas Fanghaenel/Wiki Commons)

The Chinese government has said it’s developing an “unreliable entity list” in response the U.S. government’s decision to blacklist Huawei, and prevent Huawei from sourcing components from U.S. firms.


China is placing foreign firms, organizations and individuals on the list that it claims engage in activities such as violating contracts, cutting off supplies for noncommercial reasons, and not obeying market rules.


Gao Feng, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Commerce, said the government will pursue “necessary measures” against companies on the list, and said the details of such actions would be released soon, according to a Bloomberg report.


China’s announcement comes amid escalating tensions between China and the Trump administration, as a trade war between the two countries lags on. Earlier this month, the Commerce Department officially placed Huawei on its “entity list,” barring U.S. companies from engaging in export trading with the company in an effort to cut off critical elements of Huawei’s supply chain.


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In the wake of the blacklisting, companies such as Google, which supplies the operating system for Huawei’s smartphones, and chipmakers Intel and Qualcomm have made arrangements to phase out or cut off relations with the company. Several firms around the world, including Toshiba and Panasonic, have made similar moves.


Several countries are also considering banning Huawei gear from 5G wireless networks, amid U.S. lobbying that Huawei poses a security threat. This week, Rogers Communications’ vice chairman Philip Lind called for Canada to ban Huawei products from its telecommunications networks, arguing that Huawei poised too big of a security risk to be used, according to Bloomberg.


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President Trump recently declared a national emergency with regard to telecom equipment in the U.S., citing security risks. But, as trade negotiations between the U.S. and China have stalled, the president hinted last week that he may consider using Huawei as a bargaining chip in future trade deals with China.


“It’s possible that Huawei even would be included in some kind of trade deal,” Trump said last week, according to a report from CNN. “If we made a deal, I can imagine Huawei being included in some form of, some part of a trade deal.”