US blacklists Pakistani companies over alleged involvement in nuclear activities

The US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security has added several Pakistani companies to a list of 14 entities on a trade blacklist for their alleged involvement in missile and nuclear activities. The move is part of a wider list of 37 entities added to the Entity List for allegedly contributing to Russia’s military and/or defense industrial base, supporting China’s military modernization, and engaging in human rights abuses in Myanmar and China.

The Entity List is a blacklist of foreign entities, including companies, organizations, and individuals, that the US government believes pose a threat to national security or foreign policy interests. Being added to the list restricts these entities’ access to US technology and goods, effectively blocking them from doing business with US companies.

The US Commerce Department’s statement added that “fourteen entities based in China and Pakistan are being added to the Entity List for contributing to ballistic missile programs of concern, including Pakistan’s missile program, and for involvement in unsafeguarded nuclear activities”.

The list, however, does not identify the entities but links to a site that does not open, apparently because it’s not available to the public. The move is expected to make it harder for targeted companies to receive shipments of US goods from American and other suppliers.

The wider list includes three entities in Russia, Belarus, and Taiwan, 18 entities based in China, and six entities based in China and Myanmar. Eighteen entities based in China were added to the list for acquiring and attempting to acquire US origin items in support of China’s military modernization efforts, and for supplying or attempting to supply a sanctioned entity in Iran. Six entities based in China and Myanmar were added for violations of human rights.

The statement claimed that Chinese entities had engaged in the collection and analysis of genetic data, which posed a significant risk of contributing to monitoring and surveillance by the Chinese government, including the targeting, detainment, and repression of ethnic minorities in China as well as diversion of such information to the Chinese military programmes.

Myanmar’s entities provided surveillance equipment and services to Myanmar’s military regime, enabling it to carry out human rights abuses through the trafficking and identification of individuals, and the military’s continued repression of Myanmar’s people, including through surveillance and imprisonment.

The list includes units of Chinese genetics company BGI and Chinese cloud computing firm Inspur. BGI Research and BGI Tech Solutions (Hong Kong) were added over allegations that the units pose a “significant risk” to contributing to Chinese government surveillance. BGI’s forensics subsidiary, Forensics Genomics International, was also listed. Inspur was marked for allegedly acquiring and attempting to acquire US goods to support China’s military modernization efforts.

The move is expected to further escalate tensions between the US and China, who have been engaged in a technology war for years. The US media, while reporting the listings, noted that the move would make it hard for targeted companies to receive shipments of US goods from American and other suppliers.

Tensions between the US and China have been especially high since the Biden administration last month shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon that had crossed a broad swath of the United States, according to media reports.

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Monitoring Desk
Monitoring Desk
Our monitoring team diligently searches the vast expanse of the web to carefully handpick and distill top-tier business and economic news stories and articles, presenting them to you in a concise and informative manner.



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