China announces regulations for ‘unreliable entity’ list

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A woman wearing a mask walks past delivery workers moving boxes in Beijing on Aug. 20, 2020. U.S. and Chinese trade envoys discussed strengthening coordination of their government’s economic policies during a phone meeting Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, the Ministry of Commerce announced. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

HONG KONG (AP) — China’s Ministry of Commerce on Saturday issued regulations for its “unreliable entity” list, aimed at foreign companies it says endanger its national sovereignty, security or development interests.

Companies that end up on the list could be banned from importing or exporting from China, and may be barred from investing in the country.

Other measures include imposing fines, entry restrictions on employees into China and revoking their work or residence permits.

The announcement of the new regulations comes after the U.S. said it would ban Chinese-owned TikTok and WeChat from U.S. app stores on Sunday, and bar such apps from assessing essential internet services in the U.S. based on national security and data privacy concerns.

The order follows weeks of deal-making over TikTok, the video-sharing service. President Donald Trump has pressured parent company ByteDance to sell TikTok’s U.S. operations to a domestic company to satisfy U.S. concerns over TikTok’s data collection and related issues.

China’s Ministry of Commerce condemned the ban, and urged the U.S. to stop what it called bullying behavior and wrongdoing.

In a statement, the ministry said China would “take necessary measures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies.”

China had previously pledged to draw up a list of companies that harm its interests after the U.S. imposed sanctions on Chinese telecommunications gear supplier Huawei and placed it on a trade blacklist.

Although China has announced the regulations, the list has not been published. In May, state-owned media outlet Global Times said that China could put companies like Apple, Qualcomm and Cisco on the list in retaliation for U.S. restrictions on Huawei.

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