Secretary of State
Identifying Firms Connected to the PRC Surveillance Technology Sector and Deterring PRC Misuse of Biotechnology and Military Modernization Identifying Firms Connected to the PRC Surveillance Technology Sector and Deterring PRC Misuse of Biotechnology and Military Modernization.
Private firms in the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) defense and surveillance technology sectors are actively facilitating PRC government efforts to persecute ethnic and religious minorities. These actions include the installation of thousands of neighborhood police kiosks, widespread placement of surveillance cameras, collection of biometric data for identification purposes, and more intrusive monitoring of Internet use.
The United States today imposed investment restrictions affecting eight entities which operate or have operated, or own or control an entity that operates or has operated, in the defense and related materiel or surveillance technology sectors of the PRC economy. More specifically, these eight entities actively support the surveillance and tracking of members of ethnic and religious minority groups in the PRC, predominantly Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang.
One of these companies developed customized software that supposedly recognizes specific ethnic minorities, including Tibetans and Uyghurs, and alert authorities when it finds them.
Another company produces software that includes a transcription and translation tool for the Uyghur language to enable authorities to scan residents’ devices for criminal content. Some of the identified companies have exported surveillance technologies to other countries with poor human rights records.
The United States is also adding 37 new entities to the Entity List for acting contrary to our national security or foreign policy initiatives. These entities include the Academy of Military Medical Sciences and its 11 research institutes, which has focused on using biotechnology to support the PRC military. The PRC’s pursuit of emerging biotechnology to support future military applications and military modernization raises serious concerns.
We are committed to promoting respect for the human rights of members of minority groups in the PRC and elsewhere, as well as ensuring that the U.S. financial system and American investors are not furthering these activities. Today’s actions demonstrate the U.S. government’s vigilance against the PRC’s misuse of U.S. technology and investments that undermine U.S. national security.