Americans banned from investing in Chinese telecoms companies
US President Joe Biden has toughened up his predecessor’s ban on Americans investing in Chinese technology companies.
Americans will be banned from investing in any of 59 Chinese companies from 2 August onwards, though they will have a further year to sell existing shares.
Biden told the speaker of the House of Representatives and the president of the Senate “that additional steps are necessary to address the national emergency”.
He said he was concerned about China’s “military-industrial complex” and “its involvement in military, intelligence, and security research and development programs, and weapons and related equipment production” under the China’s Military-Civil Fusion strategy.
Biden expanded the scope of what he called “this national emergency” by extending the ban to companies using “Chinese surveillance technology outside the PRC”, and developing or using “Chinese surveillance technology to facilitate repression or serious human rights abuses”. These “constitute unusual and extraordinary threats”, said Biden.
Biden’s order, which extends an order signed by former President Donald Trump on 12 November last year, is not conclusive. The Treasury Department can add new companies to the list.
The Biden list, detailed in the fact sheet that accompanies the executive order, includes three carriers, China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom, as well as equipment vendor Huawei and a number of aerospace and satellite companies, such as China Satellite Communications.
The New Yolrk Stock Exchange (NYSE) has already withdrawn the share listing of three Chinese telcos, a move started under Trump but confirmed in April. Huawei is on the entity list of the US Department of Commerce, which forbids US companies or citizens, or non-US citizens in the US, from trading with it.