United States blacklists Chinese AI startups

A lamp post hosting surveillance cameras near Tiananmen Square in Beijing

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Human Rights Watch has further condemned China's actions by saying that the violations are of a "scope and scale not seen in China since the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution".

When asked by a reporter whether China would consider a form of retaliation, Geng responded, "Please keep watching". "China will continue to take resolute measures to firmly safeguard its national sovereignty and developmental interests".

USA officials said the announcement was not tied to this week's resumption of trade talks with China.

He said these visa restrictions would be on Chinese government and Communist Party officials who are believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, the detention or abuse of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, or other members of Muslim minority groups in China. The move ratcheted up tensions ahead of high-level trade talks in Washington this week.

Beijing-based Megvii said in a statement (in Chinese) on Tuesday that the company "vigorously protests the decision" made by the US Commerce Department and it will keep communicating with the agency. Equity benchmarks across Asia rose earlier as trading showed little concern about ongoing unrest in Hong Kong.

The one-two punch by President Donald Trump's administration marks the most forceful attempt by a foreign power to address what some rights groups call a historic crisis in Xinjiang, and comes amid a range of feuds between the United States and China.

Megvii said October 8 there are "no grounds" for including the company in the blacklist.

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They include Hikvision and Dahua, both of which are global providers of video surveillance technology. Ltd. - and three artificial intelligence startups - SenseTime Group Ltd., Megvii Technology Ltd. and Yitu Technologies.

Hikvision and Dahua, listed on Chinese stock exchanges, suspended trading on Tuesday, while Shanghai-listed Iflytek closed down almost 3%.

The Department of Commerce announced on Monday that "these entities have all been implicated in the implementation of China's campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, and high-technology surveillance".

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang denies human rights issues claimed by US.

Sensetime said in a statement (in Chinese) Tuesday that the company "strongly opposes" the decision and urged the USA government to reconsider the case.

SenseTime and Dahua weren't immediately available for comment outside of normal business hours.

It notes human rights groups and the United Nations say China has rounded up and detained more than a million Uighurs and other ethnic minorities in vast detention camps, where they are forced to renounce Islam, speak only in Mandarin Chinese and learn obedience to the communist government. At a presentation previous year, at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, SenseTime, a $5bn company that is on the blacklist although it is backed by US chipmaker Qualcomm, boasted of a chilling 98% success rate for its facial recognition software and cameras.

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