WASHINGTON — The Trump administration said Monday that it had added 28 Chinese organizations to a United States blacklist, effectively blocking those entities from purchasing American products.
The 28 organizations have all been implicated in human rights violations and abuses in China’s campaign targeting Uighurs and other predominantly Muslim minorities in the autonomous region of Xinjiang, according to a Commerce Department filing.
Among the entities being placed on the list are Hikvision, Dahua Technology and Megvii Technology, which specialize in surveillance and facial-recognition technology. Hikvision is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of video surveillance products and is central to China’s ambitions to be the top global exporter of surveillance systems.
China has faced growing condemnation from human rights groups in recent months for its detention of up to one million ethnic Uighurs and other minority Muslims in large internment camps in the country’s northwest region of Xinjiang.
Beijing has constructed roadblocks and an advanced surveillance system, in what it describes as an effort to fight Islamist extremism among the Uighurs, who form the largest ethnic group in Xinjiang. But many Uighurs and others in the international community say Chinese officials are trying to suppress their culture and religion.
Officials in the Trump administration have denounced China’s treatment of the Uighurs, though previous plans to place sanctions on China have been shelved over concerns of disrupting the United States-China economic relationship. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has denounced the treatment of the Uighurs as the “stain of the century.”
The Trump administration has been steadily adding Chinese entities to the United States blacklist. Earlier this year, it placed Huawei, the Chinese telecom equipment giant, on the blacklist, saying it posed national security concerns. It added five Chinese entities to the list in June, also over national security concerns.
American companies can still apply for and receive licenses to supply products to organizations that have been placed on the Commerce Department entity list, but the government may deny the applications.
The addition of the companies comes just days ahead of a planned meeting between American and Chinese trade negotiators. The two sides are meeting in Washington this week to try and resolve a trade war that has begun inflicting pain on both sides of the Pacific.
A Commerce spokesman said that the action was not related to those talks.