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  • Post published:05/06/2021
  • Post last modified:05/06/2021

Photo credit: Paul Thurrott

President Joe Biden has signed an executive order banning U.S. investment in 59 Chinese tech firms that have military ties, expanding on an order issued by his predecessor.

“Additional steps are necessary to address the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13959 of November 12, 2020, including the threat posed by the military-industrial complex of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and its involvement in military, intelligence, and security research and development programs, and weapons and related equipment production under the PRC’s Military-Civil Fusion strategy,” the executive order reads. “In addition, I find that the use of Chinese surveillance technology outside the PRC and the development or use of Chinese surveillance technology to facilitate repression or serious human rights abuse constitute unusual and extraordinary threats, which have their source in whole or substantial part outside the United States, to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.”

The previous U.S. administration had acted unilaterally against Huawei and a handful of other Chinese tech firms, but the November 2020 order expanded the U.S. ban to include more companies believed to have ties to the Chinese military. This new order builds on that earlier order—which the Biden administration describes as poorly written and containing no clear factual basis—by adding companies that make surveillance technologies that the Chinese have used to repress minorities and dissidents.

Huawei, obviously, is on the new list—I guess we could call it a charter member—but I don’t recognize almost any of the other company names, many of which start with the word “China.”

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