The US Department of Commerce claims units from BGI and Inspur pose a “significant risk” by aiding Beijing’s oversight.
The administration of US President Joe Biden has added 37 companies to a trade blacklist, including parts of Chinese genetics company BGI and Chinese cloud computing company Inspur, in a move that promises to further escalate tensions with Beijing.
The US Department of Commerce, which oversees export controls, has added BGI Research and BGI Tech Solutions (Hong Kong) to the list over allegations that the units pose a “significant risk” by contributing to Chinese government oversight.
“The actions of these entities in relation to the collection and analysis of genetic data pose a significant risk of diversion into China’s military programs,” it said.
Also listed was BGI’s forensics subsidiary, Forensics Genomics International.
The trade department accused Inspur of acquiring and attempting to acquire American goods to support China’s military modernization efforts.
The companies and the Chinese embassy in Washington, DC, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Commerce has added 26 other Chinese entities to the list, making it difficult for targeted companies to receive shipments of US goods from suppliers.
The additions included several entities that Commerce said supplied or attempted to supply to a sanctioned entity in Iran and three companies in Russia, Belarus and Taiwan that contributed to Moscow’s military.
The sanctions also targeted companies in China and Myanmar for human rights abuses, and companies in China and Pakistan for contributing to worrying ballistic missile programs, including Pakistan’s.
“When we identify entities that pose a national security or foreign policy concern to the United States, we add them to the entity list to ensure that we can scrutinize their transactions,” Deputy Secretary of Commerce Thea Kendler said in a statement. declaration.
The latest additions to the trade blacklist are likely to further escalate ill will between Washington and Beijing, which have been embroiled in a technology war for years.
Tensions have been particularly high since last month the Biden administration shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon that had crossed a wide swath of the United States.
“We cannot allow our adversaries to misuse and misuse technology to commit human rights violations and other forms of oppression,” said Matthew Axelrod, assistant secretary of commerce for export enforcement.
“That is why we do everything we can to prevent malicious parties from transferring our technology. We will use an all-tools approach to combat this threat.”
In 2020, the U.S. Commerce Department added two units of BGI Group, the world’s largest genomics company, to its economic blacklist over allegations that it had conducted genetic analysis used to promote oppression of China’s minority Uyghurs. promote.
Beijing denies wrongdoing. BGI denied allegations of wrongdoing at the time.