The U.S. plans to add 33 Chinese companies to an economic blacklist for performing spying activities. Ironically, the U.S. is also providing web services to these firms amid its tensions with China.
As per Reuters, Beijing, China, has been reported to be spying on its Uighur population, as well as a possibility of their ties to China’s military and their weapons of mass destruction.
China recently shocked Hong Kong with its new national security law causing havoc in the markets last week. In addition, the U.S. recently banned Chinese tech giant Huawei, possibly adding more fuel to the fire.
Cybersecurity and AI firms are the main targets
The move from the U.S. Commerce Department is the Trump administration’s way of retaliation to take down companies that are sustaining Chinese military activities. It’s also a way of punishing Beijing for its treatment of Muslim minorities.
According to a statement from the Commerce Department, seven companies and two institutions were noted for being “complicit in human rights violations and abuses.”
This highlights China’s campaign of repression, forced labor, mass arbitrary detention, as well as high-tech surveillance against Uighurs and other Muslim minority groups.
Furthermore, Nvidia and Intel are also reportedly investing in some of the artificial intelligence (AI) and facial recognition companies that the U.S. blacklisted.
A cybersecurity firm in China called Qihoo360 recently made headlines for claiming that the CIA hacked their aviation, energy, and other sectors.
The irony is that despite the ban, some U.S. companies are also investing in the blacklisted companies.
Amazon, Microsoft, and Google are providing help to banned firms
According to CNBC, these big tech giants are found to be giving various web services to blacklisted Chinese surveillance firms that were accused of human rights abuses in a Top10VPN report.
Simon Migliano, head of research at Top10VPN, said in its report that U.S. firms were involved in using a combination of public tools providing web traffic analytics, as well as source code examination to illegal websites.
The reports also added that the U.S. firms are also including hosting the surveillance firms’ websites and emails to authentication methods.
In fact, Top10VPN also alleged that Amazon and Google are providing web services for two Chinese blacklisted companies, Dahua Technology and Hikvision.
Meanwhile, Microsoft’s services are reportedly being used by SenseTime and Megvii, two of China’s most valuable AI startups.
Despite the contradictory impressions of these reports, it looks like the U.S. and China are still “maintaining their relationship” amid the conflicts.