Thirteen more Chinese companies have been added this week to a blacklist of companies that the United States government bars American citizens from investing in.
Others were BGI Genomics Co Ltd, which runs a massive gene databank and has DNA-sequencing contracts with health firms and universities worldwide, and CRRC Corp, which engages in the manufacture and sale of rail transit equipment.
Last year, a review of scientific papers and company statements found that BGI developed its prenatal tests in collaboration with the Chinese military and was using them to collect genetic data for sweeping research on the traits of populations.
“The Department is determined to highlight and counter the People’s Republic of China’s military-civil fusion strategy, which supports the modernisation goals of the People’s Liberation Army by ensuring its access to advanced technologies and expertise are acquired and developed by PRC companies, universities, and research programmes that appear to be civilian entities,” the Pentagon said in a statement.
The US Defence Department unveiled its expanded list on Wednesday. It bars Americans from buying or selling publicly traded securities in targeted companies.
An initial tranche of about 50 Chinese companies that included telecoms equipment maker Huawei were added to the US list in June last year.
At that time, President Joe Biden signed an executive order that banned US entities from investing in the dozens of Chinese companies with alleged ties to defence or surveillance technology sectors.
The order aimed to prevent US investment from supporting the Chinese military-industrial complex, as well as military, intelligence, and security research and development programmes.
It was part of Mr Biden’s broader series of steps to counter China, including reinforcing US alliances and pursuing large domestic investments to bolster American economic competitiveness, amid increasingly sour relations between the world’s two biggest economies.
- Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard