The US Department of Defense has added more Chinese companies, including drone maker DJI Technology and surveillance equipment maker Zhejiang Dahua Technology, to a blacklist that subject them to an investment ban on with Americans.
BGI Genomics Co Ltd, which operates a huge genomic database and has DNA sequencing contracts with medical companies and universities worldwide, and CRRC Corp, which is engaged in manufacturing and selling rail transit equipment, was also among 13 companies added to the list released by the Pentagon on Wednesday.
Last year, a Reuters review of scientific papers and company statements found that BGI had developed the prenatal tests in cooperation with the Chinese military and was using them to collect genetic data for further study of population characteristics.
“The Ministry is determined to highlight and counter the People’s Republic of China’s Combined Military-Civilian strategy, and support the modernization goals of the People’s Liberation Army by ensuring it access to cutting-edge technologies and expertise acquired and developed by Chinese companies and universities, the Pentagon said in a statement.
This list prevents the buying or selling of publicly traded securities in targeted companies.
A first group of about 50 Chinese companies including telecommunications equipment maker Huawei HWT.UL was added to the US list last June.
At the time, President Joe Biden signed an executive order barring American entities from investing in dozens of Chinese companies with alleged ties to the defense or surveillance technology sectors.
The order is intended to block US investment in support of China’s military-industrial complex, as well as its military, intelligence and security research and development programs.
It is part of a broader series of steps by Biden to counter China, including strengthening US alliances and pursuing major investments at home to strengthen the economy’s competitiveness. The United States, in the context of increasingly difficult relations between the world’s two largest economies.
Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing by Chris Sanders and Leslie Adler