US Blacklists Chinese Biotech Groups Over Repression Of Uyghurs

 The US is placing China’s Academy of Military Medical Sciences and 11 institutes involved in biotechnology on an export blacklist for allegedly helping Beijing engage in the repression and surveillance of Uyghurs.

A senior US official said the commerce Department would on Thursday put the Chinese academy and its affiliate institutes on the “entity list”, which would prohibit US companies from providing the institutions technology that originated in America.

The move is part of a US campaign to punish China for the persecution of Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. The official said the institute was helping to develop genetic technologies that enabled mass surveillance in the north-western region where more than 1m Uyghurs have been detained in camps.

“Beijing is trying to use emerging biotechnologies to support future military applications and modernisation of the People’s Liberation Army including sponsoring related research on gene editing, human performance enhancement, brain machine interfaces and biological materials,” the US official said.

Later on Thursday, Treasury is expected to put DJI, the world’s largest commercial drone manufacturer, and seven other Chinese companies on an investment ban list for their alleged role in surveillance in China. The Financial Times reported earlier this week that the targets would also include Megvii, a facial recognition software company.

The Biden administration last week placed SenseTime, the Chinese cutting-edge AI company that focuses on facial recognition software, on the “Chinese military-industrial complex companies” list. US investors are banned from investing in any of the five dozen Chinese companies that have already been placed on the blacklist.

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