Five Chinese technology firms have been added to a United States blacklist. The U.S. Commerce Department said in its announcement that the five are being added to an “entity list” due to posing risks to American interests. The department said the activities of these companies “pose a significant risk of being or becoming involved in activities contrary to the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States.”
Sugon, one of China’s leading supercomputer makers, was one of the companies added to the list. Sugon’s machines are used by China’s government and its largest technology companies for everything from military simulations to weather prediction. Three others (Higon, Chengdu Haiguang Integrated Circuit, and Chengdu Haiguang Microelectronics Technology) are subsidiaries set up to design microchips. The last entity added was the Wuxi Jiangnan Institute of Computing Technology.
The added entities will now be barred from buying American technology and components without a waiver from the United States government. The companies could petition the United States government for a license to buy American technology. If they do, they are sure to be under intense scrutiny and ultimately receiving approval might be unlikely.
Chinese telecom equipment giant Huawei was added to the entity list in May. The restrictions forced many American chipmakers and tech companies to cut ties with the company. President Donald Trump’s administration is also reportedly considering adding surveillance-technology company Hikvision to the list. China has said it is putting together its own “unreliable entities list” of foreign companies and people in retaliation.
The tensions between the two nations were already high. The U.S. and China have slapped tariffs on billions of dollars of each other’s goods. American and Chinese officials recently restarted talks to reach a trade agreement after negotiations collapsed in May. There is a planned meeting between President Trump and President Xi Jinping of China in Japan next week. That conversation could determine whether the trade war ends or persists indefinitely.