Chinese Communist Party Reveals ‘Unreliable Entity’ List Aimed at Foreign Companies That Threaten ‘National Security’

The Chinese Communist Party’s Ministry of Commerce announced regulations aimed at foreign companies with investments in China that could imperil its national sovereignty and security. 

The CCP’s “unreliable entity” list, released on Saturday, is seen as a retaliation for the U.S. government’s recent actions against Chinese companies operating in the U.S. including Tencent Holding’s multi-purpose messaging and mobile payment app WeChat, ByteDance’s short-form video app TikTok, and inquiries into the security protocols for user data of Tencent-connected game developers including League of Legends and Valorant maker Riot Games, and Fortnite and Rocket League owner Epic Games. The CCP denies that this list specifically targets U.S. companies doing business in mainland China.

The announcement of the new regulations occurred almost simultaneously with an emergency court hearing related to WeChat; On Saturday, the U.S. WeChat User Alliance fought for and won a preliminary injunction against the Administration’s ban of WeChat on the grounds that the executive order signed by President Trump in August violated the First Amendmendment rights of users. The Judge also ruled that the government did not provide proof that WeChat was a “national security risk.” TikTok also managed to avoid a ban set for Sunday evening when it announced that it had signed a deal with Oracle and Walmart to help address security concerns related to its U.S. operations.

In a statement issued Saturday, the Ministry of Commerce said that China would “take necessary measures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies.”

The list is similar to the U.S. government’s “Entity List,” maintained by the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security. The list contains names of individuals and entities “reasonably believed to be involved” in “activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States.” Entries on this list face myriad regulations including restrictions on exporting or transferring items subject to Export Administration Regulations, and additional license requirements. 

Entities on the CCP list would face restrictions and prohibitions on engaging in import or export activities, investing in China, visa restrictions or being banned from visiting the country, and possible fines.

In a press conference Sunday, the Ministry of Commerce offered reassurances that this new list would not be used to specifically punish U.S. companies that are following the rules in China. 

“The provisions are only aimed at a very few foreign entities that violate market transaction rules and Chinese laws. There is no need whatsoever for credible and law-abiding foreign entities to worry,” the official said, according to a report in the CCP-owned newspaper, the Global Times.

It is unclear when the CCP will implement these new regulations.

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