U.S. Commerce Dept. adds 28 Chinese organizations to its Entity List

Dahua, Hikvision and several AI and voice recognition companies named
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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

WASHINGTON—The Bureau of Industry and Security of the Department of Commerce announced that it will add 28 Chinese governmental and commercial organizations to the Entity List for engaging in or enabling activities contrary to the foreign policy interests of the United States. Among those placed on the list include Dahua, Hikvision and several companies that specialize in AI, voice recognition and data forensics.

The Entity List identifies persons or organizations reasonably believed to be involved, or to pose a significant risk of being or becoming involved, in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States. The the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) imposes additional license requirements on, and limits the availability of most license exceptions for, exports, re-exports, and transfers (in-country) to listed entities.

“The U.S. Government and Department of Commerce cannot and will not tolerate the brutal suppression of ethnic minorities within China,” Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in the announcement. “This action will ensure that our technologies, fostered in an environment of individual liberty and free enterprise, are not used to repress defenseless minority populations.”

A Hikvision spokesperson said the company “strongly opposes” the decision as “it will hamper efforts by global companies to improve human rights around the world. Hikvision, as the security industry’s global leader, respects human rights and takes our responsibility to protect people in the U.S. and the world seriously. Hikvision has been engaging with administration officials over the past 12 months to clarify misunderstandings about the company and address their concerns.”

In January 2019, Hikvision retained human rights expert and former U.S. Ambassador Pierre-Richard Prosper to advise the company on human rights compliance. “Punishing Hikvision, despite these engagements, will deter global companies from communicating with the U.S. government, hurt Hikvision’s U.S. businesses partners and negatively impact the U.S. economy,” the company said.

Dahua also protested the decision, saying there is no ”factual basis,” and calling on the U.S. government to reconsider on it.

“As a global business entity, Dahua adheres to the business code of conduct, and follows market rules as well as international rules,” the company said. “Dahua is actively working to ensure our investment and business operations around the world to comply with all applicable laws and regulations. Regarding such decision of U.S. government, we have actively taken various measures, and we will continue providing outstanding products and services to our customers.”