(Pocket-lint) - Donald Trump has six days left in office, but that hasn't stopped his administration from putting more Chinese companies in its crosshairs. The latest victim is Xiaomi, one of the world’s largest phone manufacturers.
The US Department of Defense has designated Xiaomi a “Communist Chinese military company", which means it will be subject to Trump’s executive order that bans the US from investing in "Chinese military" companies considered a security threat. The Trump administration on Thursday added nine Chinese firms total to its blacklist, alleging they are all Chinese military companies.
Reuters noted all the companies in this last-minute push will be subject to a US investment ban that forces American investors to divest their holdings of the blacklisted firms by 11 November 2021. However, President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn in soon, giving him ample time to overturn the order. It's unclear if that will actually happen, but it's certainly interesting to watch the events unfold.
It's also interesting Xiaomi has been blacklisted at all, considering it's mostly a consumer tech company, and a very popular one. It responded via Twitter denying all allegations.
Huawei is on the military company blacklist, too. It's also on the Commerce Department’s Entity list, which restricts US companies from exporting its tech. But Huawei doesn't just make phones; it builds telecommunications equipment, and lawmakers worry about it being part of US cellular infrastructure. ZTE and DJI are on the Entity list, too, which is separate from the investment ban.
Perhaps Biden will take a more relaxed approach with these Chinese companies in the future, but only time will tell.