Xiaomi sues US government over blacklist inclusion

Shanghai, China, Jan 30 (efe-epa).- Chinese technology firm Xiaomi has filed a lawsuit against the United States’ defense and treasury departments over its inclusion on a blacklist of companies with alleged links to the Chinese military.

In the move confirmed by Chinese state media Saturday, Xiaomi joins other Chinese technology companies such as ByteDance and Huawei, which have also filed lawsuits against the US government after being sanctioned by Washington during Donald Trump’s term.

In a filing lodged in the US district court of Columbia on Friday, Xiaomi called the blacklisting “unlawful.” It also lists new Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen as defendants.

“Xiaomi faces imminent, severe, and irreparable harm if the Designation remains in place and the restrictions take effect,” the document said.

Earlier this month, the US included Xiaomi on the list of firms considered by Washington as being affiliated with the Chinese military. According to the decree signed by Trump, American investors will be required to divest holdings in the companies.

The list also includes Huawei, video surveillance equipment manufacturer Hikvision, chip producer SMIC, aircraft manufacturer Comac and several state-owned companies in key sectors such as nuclear, energy and telecommunications.

The intention of the Department of Defense, which described the firms as “Communist Chinese military companies” is to counteract China’s “Military-Civil Fusion development strategy, which supports the modernization goals of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) by ensuring its access to advanced technologies and expertise acquired and developed by even those PRC companies, universities, and research programs that appear to be civilian entities.”

In a statement published on Jan. 15, Xiaomi assured that it has always complied with the laws of the countries in which it operates and that it would “take appropriate course of actions to protect the interests of the Company and its shareholders.”

Xiaomi’s Friday court filing said it “is a widely held, publicly traded, independently managed corporation that offers consumer electronic products solely for civilian and commercial use.”

“It is not owned or controlled by, or otherwise affiliated with the Chinese government or military, or owned or controlled by any entity affiliated with the Chinese defense industrial base. Nor does the Chinese government or military, or any entity affiliated with the defense industrial base, possess the ability to exert control over the management or affairs of the company,” the document said.

According to experts cited by the state newspaper Global Times, Xiaomi’s initiative may encourage other companies to take legal action against the sanctions imposed by Washington. EFE-EPA


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