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China threatens to create its own 'Entity List' to include American firms
According to Global Times, a Chinese news site, the country is planning to release an “Entity List” in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s own list which caused Chinese company Huawei to spiral into a nosedive.
Gao Feng, a spokesman of China’s commerce ministry, had this to say on the matter (via TechCrunch):
Foreign enterprises, organizations, or individuals that do not comply with market rules, deviate from a contract’s spirit, or impose blockades or stop supplies to Chinese enterprises for non-commercial purposes, and seriously damage the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises, will be included on a list of ‘unreliable entities.’
While the spokesman doesn’t specifically call out the United States or any U.S.-based companies, it’s extremely likely that U.S.-based firms would be on this list, should it come to fruition.
China declined to elaborate on what limitations it would place onto firms that appear on this list.
This contradicts an earlier assertion from Huawei’s founder that China should not respond to the U.S. Entity List with a similar program. In fact, he specifically named United States company Apple as being his “teacher,” and that he would oppose any bans China might institute against it.
However, Huawei and China are not the same things. It’s possible China could institute an Entity List to offer further proof that the country’s government acts independently of Huawei since it is assumed by many Western governments that Huawei and China are practically one and the same. It is extremely likely that a second Entity List would hurt Huawei even more.
Trump’s Entity List caused Huawei to lose contracts with major firms, including Google, Arm, Qualcomm, Microsoft, and more. It also temporarily lost its membership to several high-profile coalitions, including the Wi-Fi Alliance. However, many of those memberships were reinstated days later.