Xiaomi Mi 11 hero shot

Credit: Eric Zeman / Android Authority
  • Xiaomi was reportedly added to a US blacklist because of an award given to its co-founder and CEO.
  • The award came from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Xiaomi was added to a US blacklist earlier this year, with Washington claiming that the company’s ties to the Chinese military warranted its addition to the list. This move essentially prevents US investors from investing in Xiaomi, as opposed to the more aggressive Entity List which is wreaking havoc with Huawei.

The US didn’t dish out a reason for Xiaomi’s addition to the blacklist at the time, but a US Department of Defense legal filing spotted by the Wall Street Journal may have given us a reason. And oddly enough, the filing notes that an award given to Xiaomi co-founder and CEO Lei Jun is partly to blame.

According to the outlet, Jun received the “Outstanding Builder of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics” award from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in 2019. The Wall Street Journal adds that the award was given to 100 Chinese executives in 2019 and was mentioned on Xiaomi’s website.

The filing also reportedly points to Xiaomi’s investments in “advanced technologies” like 5G and AI as reasons to add it to the US blacklist.

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Xiaomi didn’t comment on the matter when asked by the outlet, but it previously denied any links to the Chinese military when news of its blacklisting first broke.

“The company confirms that it is not owned, controlled, or affiliated with the Chinese military, and is not a ‘Communist Chinese Military Company’ defined under the NDAA,” it said at the time.

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