U.S. Bans Investment in 59 Chinese Tech Firms

Posted on June 4, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud with 34 Comments

Photo credit: Paul Thurrott

President Joe Biden has signed an executive order banning U.S. investment in 59 Chinese tech firms that have military ties, expanding on an order issued by his predecessor.

“Additional steps are necessary to address the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13959 of November 12, 2020, including the threat posed by the military-industrial complex of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and its involvement in military, intelligence, and security research and development programs, and weapons and related equipment production under the PRC’s Military-Civil Fusion strategy,” the executive order reads. “In addition, I find that the use of Chinese surveillance technology outside the PRC and the development or use of Chinese surveillance technology to facilitate repression or serious human rights abuse constitute unusual and extraordinary threats, which have their source in whole or substantial part outside the United States, to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.”

The previous U.S. administration had acted unilaterally against Huawei and a handful of other Chinese tech firms, but the November 2020 order expanded the U.S. ban to include more companies believed to have ties to the Chinese military. This new order builds on that earlier order—which the Biden administration describes as poorly written and containing no clear factual basis—by adding companies that make surveillance technologies that the Chinese have used to repress minorities and dissidents.

Huawei, obviously, is on the new list—I guess we could call it a charter member—but I don’t recognize almost any of the other company names, many of which start with the word “China.”

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Comments (34)

34 responses to “U.S. Bans Investment in 59 Chinese Tech Firms”

  1. crunchyfrog

    This is what happens when a democracy builds up the economy of a massive communist nation.

    • eric_rasmussen

      If everyone was kind, generous, and altruistic then communism works great. The problem is that humans are not often kind, generous, or altruistic so communism becomes nothing more than a means of oppressing the proletariat while the bourgeoisie live in luxury.

      We're not a democracy though, we're supposed to be a constitutional republic. What we (the United States) really are right now is a corporate aristocracy where special interests run the government. There are a lot of young people who never saw the Soviet Union or East Germany and are begging for some form of communism in the U.S., whether it's a socialist democracy or full-blown government control of means and distribution. If corporate America could figure out how to profit from a communist system being installed I think we'd already be one.

      We need people to learn about history and the different forms of government and then pay attention and let their voices be heard. Organized society doesn't work when only the loudest voices are heard.

      • yaddamaster

        >> a corporate aristocracy

        I would suggest that a more appropriate and historically accurate term would be "mercantilist". We have a mercantilist system but within the country rather than between countries.

      • waethorn

        Socialism hasn't worked yet. Orwell believed in a "utopian Socialism" as theorized prior to Marxism, but no such thing has ever existed in recorded history. He was right about one thing though: the further you go left or right, the closer you get to authoritarianism, and the more each political ideology looks the same. The people that want to divide you on this basis all have the same goal.

        • bluvg

          Socialism or communism? Europeans seem to be mostly fine with socialism--though they criticize its flaws, just as there are critics of unrestricted free markets.

          It seems like a new alternative is needed to any of these models, as free markets have great benefits but flawed equity and tragedy of the commons/long-term issues and problematic motivations, while the other models already tried have their own sets of problems. I don't think there's been a new model tried since the dawn of the internet?

  2. Lordbaal

    I'm done with this site. If I wanted to hear about politics, I'll go o some other site.

    But typical moronic left, always have to bring up Trump into everything. Even when no one is even talking about him.

    • dell5050

      Yes I agree. I come to this site for tech news. What I find is more and more leftist political digs. And now this thread has devolved into a typical MSNBC garbage article and comment section. Very un professional.

  3. Craig Smith

    Trump was a massive, unrelenting #$&^% who made the United States seem moronic to the rest of the world. He mocked the disabled and abused women. He turned the U.S. government into a family Ponzi scheme. The term "Trump derangement syndrome" is such a ridiculous phrase. If someone doesn't like Trump's behaviour, it's not really his fault, that person just has "Trump derangement Syndrome". Another phrase invented to excuse Trump's lifetime of abysmal actions and suggest the real problem is everyone else.

    • Jorge Garcia

      This is very good news. It's high time we stop being naive as a nation about how the world works and what China's ultimate intentions are.

  4. naro

    Agree with much of what you said, except that electric vehicles are stupid. You'll be on the wrong side of history in probably 5 years and definitely 10. Electric vehicles are the future and the future is knocking on the door now....about to blow the door wide open in the next couple years. EVs are better in every single way except for charging speed (soon to be solved with Tesla new battery cell) and sticker price, as they're already cheaper on a total cost of ownership basis. In 2 years the sticker prices should fall below comparable ICE vehicles.

    It's game over for ICE. You'll see soon enough. I was a petroleum engineering major, glad I left college for the Navy and did something else. Oil is the new tobacco, people still smoke, but it's a dying industry.

  5. peterc

    reading some of the comments and opinions on this post makes me think it might take more than a new version of Windows, Sun Valley or 11, and definitely more than a UX refresh to satisfy some people....

  6. chasmm

    I looked but didn't see DJI on the list unless they have a different corporate name. And they're pretty clearly in the "surveillance" space. I believe there was some kind of prohibition against them, but I guess this is just about investment.

  7. pecosbob04

    Well Paul, for once I am pretty much in agreement with you. Your assessment of the former president is spot on. However if it were my house I would lock comments on this topic and move on. This is a toxic subject and not one that is good for the site or your brand. Having said that it is not my call so give them hell.

  8. midpacific

    Love ❤️ my Huawei phone and laptop. In fact the Matebook X Pro, which I think is 4 years old now, has not been bested especially for the price. Xp spectre x360 14" is almost as nice but the webcam is crap. Wish I could buy Huawei products. I think on balance they are less evil than Apple.

  9. lvthunder

    So I'm guessing that like I have said before the government knows more than we do and it's not that Trump was a xenophobe.

    • Paul Thurrott

      No, Trump is/was a racist and a xenophobe. And a lot of other terrible things. A complete f#$%king idiot, really.
      • elessar25

        Many journalists and/or bloggers lost some credibility when they slammed the prior administration for steps being taken by current administration.

        • Paul Thurrott

          I can't speak for others. But I slammed the prior administration because it was terrible, not because it took steps that were or were not similar to those taken by the current administration. Our attack on Huawei continues to make no sense. But that was unilateral during the previous administration, whereas the current one is going after a wide range of firms that they say have military ties and, now, those that make surveillance technologies that the Chinese have used to repress minorities and dissidents (as per the article). Those are actually quite different things.
          • bettyblue

            It was way more than just the US government. The British and other EU nations were against the Huawei as well for the some of the very same reasons.

            I would say they probably know something more than we do....just a tad. Its not like China has never been caught spying and hacking before or that basically any Chinese company is or can be completely controlled by that government.

      • bettyblue

        I 100% agree with your comments on the Trump the man.

        His or his administrations (its never just the one person) policies......were 1000x better than what we have now IMHO. I vote policies over personality. Policies tend to be more permanent than some person in that office for 8 years at most.

        His administrations stance on China...was dead on. The government of China is out to crush the US in any way it can. They will only stop short of complete war and that is because they probably think they could not out right win a war or they would have tried that already.

        • bluvg

          The damage to our democracy to which he greatly contributed can never outweigh the policies, regardless how good or well-intentioned. Even then, the policies were hardly great--or traditionally conservative--but more ham-fisted bluster and self-defeating pandering than targeted and shrewd.

          • Paul Thurrott

            Exactly. That monster set this country back decades in just a few years.
            • bettyblue

              Easy to make blanket open statements. Please explain what exactly was set back decades????

              • naro

                The march towards communism lol. Biden can't complete a sentence about anything. The guy is a complete puppet. His only thoughts are of retelling totally random stories he's told thousands of times on the campaign trial like those of corn pop, or he's off touching little girls inappropriately, or saying that "this little lady has her legs crossed and looks like she's 20". The dude is a creep on a daily basis and should have been home with his family and grandkids instead of being spoonfed and coached on what to say everyday that he doesn't understand.

                Trump was an asshole, but he had Zero policies that hurt americans. Black/ Hispanic unemployment at record low levels, not a single democrat could stand and clap for that at the state of the union.

                Our problem as a country is corporate interests...and lack of self respect of our citizens....and voting from illegals. Crony capitalism is just as bad as socialism. The founding fathers thought we'd overthrow our government about every 20 years. We're long overdue for some good government.

            • lvthunder

              Trump derangement syndrome is still thriving I see.

          • bettyblue

            "but more ham-fisted bluster and self-defeating pandering than targeted and shrewd."

            You are stuck on the man. Democracy worked just fine. He will never get elected again. Also there is simply no way he came up with those policies on his own, it was a team, a large one, just like the current white house renter has a large team.

            It's be a 5 months and I just need to go the gas station to see the impact of the current administration policies. I have no doubt it will get worse. I am just glad I do not live along the southern US border in a town that is majorly impacted by the sudden, but massive influx of people.

            • chrisrut

              Gas prices were lower because of reduced demand during height of virus that killed 500,000+. We as a nation, drastically curtailed our driving. As we recover, gas consumption isup again, and prices follow. Nothing to do with previous administration's policies, unless you're suggesting he killed 500,000 to lower gas prices.

              • lvthunder

                Gas prices were lower before the pandemic than they are now. Gas prices are high because of the crackdown on the fossil fuel industry. Be pulled the permit on the Keystone Pipeline and canceled a bunch of oil drilling permits. The industry knows its costs will be higher so they pass that on to consumers.

                • VancouverNinja


                • VancouverNinja

                  That is absolutely incorrect.

  10. Lordbaal

    Typical ass hat. Ban comments that he doesn't agree with.

    But they're the one's that complain about their first amendment rights.