While the Trump administration is in its final week before President-elect Joe Biden and team take over, it still looks like China remains a sticking point. This as nine Chinese firms have been added to an investment blacklist by the US Department of Defense, for alleged military connections. Among the nine is smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi, which proved a bit of a surprise addition.
This blacklisting is different from the entity list that fellow Chinese smartphone maker Huawei is on, and simply bars any US companies from investing in Xiaomi. As such, the firm can still operate in the US and secure components from US companies when needed, which is something that Huawei cannot do currently.
That said, the Department of Defense order states that all US investors will need to divest their stakes in the aforementioned companies by 11th November. This aspect of the order would have particular implications for Qualcomm, which falls under this category when it comes to Xiaomi.
Added to this is the the banned import of any “sensitive technologies” into the US from the nine Chinese firms, although a definition as to what falls under that definition is unclear.
Either way, this news comes at the most inopportune time for Xiaomi, which recently surpassed Apple as the third largest smartphone maker at the end of last year. Seeing the impact that a US ban had on Huawei, executives at Xiaomi will be hoping this blacklisting disappears soon with the new administration about to take over.
Whether that will happen, however, remains to be seen.
[Source – Reuters]