Huawei, China Telecom Backed By Chinese Military, US Claims

The Trump administration has alleged that twenty leading Chinese firms, including Huawei, are either owned by or backed by the Chinese military.

The determination that Huawei and video surveillance company Hikvision among others, are backed by the Chinese military paves the way for the United States to apply fresh financial sanctions against the companies listed.

Huawei has always insisted it is 100 percent owned by its employees, and that it has no links whatsoever to the Chinese government.

DoD list

The list of Chinese companies that operate in the US and have been linked to the Chinese military was made by the US Department of Defense (DoD).

The list was published by Axios and other media outlets on Wednesday this week. It was required as part of the 1999 National Defense Authorization Act but was not previously assembled, according to Axios.

The act called on the DoD to determine and publish “Communist Chinese military companies operating in the United States,” or any other commercial entity that is “owned or controlled by the People’s Liberation Army.”

Among the names listed were telecommunications giant Huawei, China Railway Construction Corporation, China Telecommunications Corporation, and Hikvision.

The publishing of this list is highly significant, as gives the US President the ability to apply the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) to alleged Chinese military-linked companies operating within the United States.

Donald Trump effectively now has the authority to impose sanctions against any of the companies listed.

Earlier this week UK computer security officials told British mobile phone operators to stockpile spare parts from Huawei amidst new US measures against the Chinese company.

And in May the US launched export control measures aimed at cutting off Huawei’s access to semiconductors manufactured by non-US firms that use US equipment or software.

Huawei blacklisted

It should be remembered that Huawei has been barred from purchasing technology from US companies since May 2019, but the US Commerce Department has spent the best of part granting the firm extensions so it can continue trading with US firms.

The White House meanwhile did not comment on whether it would sanction the companies on the list, but Reuters quoted a senior administration official who said that the list can be seen as “a useful tool for the US Government, companies, investors, academic institutions, and likeminded partners to conduct due diligence with regard to partnerships with these entities, particularly as the list grows.”

In April, the US Justice Department and other federal agencies called on the Federal Communications Commission to revoke China Telecom (Americas) Corp’s authorisation to provide international telecommunications services to and from the United States.

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Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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