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China about to pull the switch on US companies

by on22 September 2020

Waiting to see who gets elected first

The Chinese goverment is waiting to see who wins the election before embarking on a campaign of blacklisting US companies.

While the Chinese have not really responded to the US actions to shut down their companies apparently they have just been biding their time, according to Bloomberg.

According to Bloomberg, Beijing has sped up development of a blacklist that could be used to punish American technology firms. Officials say leaders are hesitating to pull the trigger, with some arguing a decision on the list should wait till after the US election.

Beijing has been working out how to respond to the Trump administration without driving the relationship closer to collapse.For example, after President Trump's campaign for a US company to take over video-sharing app TikTok, Chinese regulators rolled out new export-control rules that have helped TikTok parent ByteDance set terms that could help it avoid losing control of the platform's US operations or crucial technology.  However a blacklist would really put the fear of God into US companies.

China first announced its plan to create a blacklist of US entities in May 2019, soon after the US restricted telecom giant Huawei Technologies's access to  components and technology and it was believed to be an empty threat.  Beijing refrained from specifying any companies or individuals for the list as both countries' trade negotiators were engaged in the talks that eventually led to the signing of a "phase one" trade agreement in January. As the Trump administration has intensified its attacks on some of China's best-known companies -- also including Tencent Holdings, which runs the WeChat messaging and payments app -- the list has gained urgency.

In recent weeks, according to people with knowledge of the matter, an interagency group led by Vice Premier Hu Chunhua, who oversees foreign investment and trade, has stepped up finalisation of the "unreliable-entity" list -- China's answer to the US's list of Chinese entities it is targeting for sanctions.


Last modified on 22 September 2020
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