Xiaomi Joins Huawei on U.S. Blacklist

Posted on January 15, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Mobile with 37 Comments

The U.S. Department of Justice today announced that it has placed Xiaomi and several other Chinese firms on its so-called entity list, preventing it from doing business with companies based in the United States. Oddly, Xiaomi is described by the U.S. government as a military corporation.

“Today, the Department of Defense released the names of additional “Communist Chinese military companies” operating directly or indirectly in the United States in accordance with the statutory requirement of Section 1237 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1999, as amended,” the DOJ announced. “The Department is determined to highlight and counter the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) Military-Civil Fusion development strategy, which supports the modernization goals of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) by ensuring its access to advanced technologies and expertise acquired and developed by even those PRC companies, universities, and research programs that appear to be civilian entities.”

The unexpected move comes just days before the controversy-plagued Trump administration is finally removed from office and seems to mirror the action against Huawei in that it comes after Xiaomi surpassed Apple to become the world’s third-largest seller of smartphones. But there are differences, too. Xiaomi doesn’t make networking equipment, just consumer smart devices. And the military angle is unique: With Huawei, the U.S. claims that the firm might act on behalf of the Chinese government.

Xiaomi says it has no ties to the Chinese military.

“[Xiaomi] has been in compliance with law and operating in compliance with the relevant laws and regulations of jurisdictions where it conducts its businesses,” a Xiaomi statement reads. “The Company reiterates that it provides products and services for civilian and commercial use. The Company confirms that it is not owned, controlled[,] or affiliated with the Chinese military, and is not a ‘Communist Chinese Military Company’ defined under the NDAA. The Company will take appropriate course of actions to protect the interests of the Company and its shareholders.”

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Comments (37)

37 responses to “Xiaomi Joins Huawei on U.S. Blacklist”

  1. sherlockholmes

    Thank god I own an Apple XR now :-)

  2. wp7mango

    In reply to lvthunder:

    They don't have any proof of large scale election fraud either. Same thing with Huawei and Xiaomi consumer devices.

  3. bluvg

    "controversy-plagued Trump administration"

    Queue the chorus that this is somehow bias and not the objective observation that it is.

    Not sure what evidence the DoD has, but I think it's wise not to rush to judgment for or against this action without further evidence.

  4. winbookxl2

    This is crazy an overreach of companies that are based in China. I loved Huawei Smartphones for their stellar cameras and having options to chose from... sad to see but not surprised.

  5. pgiftos

    I wish people would refrain from including their political comments in tech-related subjects. I enjoy reading all the comments without it.

  6. ndelena

    I'm fine with the federal government prohibiting the use of these companies within government, but placing them on the entities list prohibiting use by private businesses and individuals is problematic to say the least. It would be great to at least get some supporting evidence that these companies have ties to the PRA and have shared data with the CCP...

  7. madthinus

    Well, those robot vacuums are a massive thread to American dust

  8. kevinbouwman

    In reply to lvthunder:

    That is the thing. If they do have proof, sharing it may stop the flow of information. If they don't have proof, they can get away with falsely claiming they do. Since I have some experience with Chinese manufacturers, I am acutely aware that, at any time and for any reason, the CCP can have exactly as much influence over a Chinese business as it wants to have. I am willing to give the justice department (Trump's and Biden's) the benefit of the doubt on this one.

    • illuminated

      In reply to kevinbouwman:

      If there is so little difference then banning 2 companies changes nothing. Like chinese do not know how to put different labels if they really want to spy. I would understand something like ban on all the protocol X routing gear or gear with certain firmware but basing ban on company name is so ineffective.

    • wright_is

      In reply to kevinbouwman:

      The same is true of US owned companies. In fact it is demonstrably so, with big tech. Just look at the Patriot Act, CLOUD Act, FISA courts and National Security Letters.

      And the UK and Europe have been studying the Huawei source code for years and have found no evidence of back doors etc. Just run-of-the-mill security bugs.

  9. stephenf

    In reply to lvthunder:

    Check out General Robert S. Spalding's Stealth War to see what this is all about. There are interview videos of him on the web as well. We need to get smart, quick.

  10. codymesh

    In reply to lvthunder:

    when was the last time the US did something like this with proof? Even the iraq war was a lie

  11. wp7mango

    In reply to lvthunder:

    Good. Because there is no truth to any of it.

  12. crunchyfrog

    I'm sure that Chairman Biden will reverse all of this as soon as he ascends the throne.

    • beckoningeagle

      In reply to crunchyfrog:

      Or maybe he supports it and people then believe it is a good thing.

      • wright_is

        In reply to BeckoningEagle:

        As a non-American, not living in America, and affected by this BS, changing your president won't change my mind on this being BS.

        The UK and Europe have had access to Huawei source code for a decade and have yet to turn up anything other than common security bugs, no backdoors, no Chinese Government switches etc. They laid that evidence in front of the courts and press.

        The US has just said "security theatre" and when people have questioned it or asked for proof, the answer has always been, "trust us."

        No, I don't trust you. What they are accusing the Chinese companies of is no different to what the US Government can do with US companies... So, if what they say is true of Chinese owned companies, the same must apply to US based companies, for non-US based people.

  13. markbyrn

    Do you think the Biden administration will reverse this idiocy?

  14. wp7mango

    I'm hoping the sensible Biden administration reverses this nonsense with Xiaomi and Huawei.

    The idiotic Trump administration has done an awful lot of damage to the USA. I'm glad Trump is finished.

  15. solomonrex

    This is such a cynical hijacking of our security apparatus solely to make Biden and Democrats look bad if they have to reverse this. It was done without objective proof, and is obviously trumped-up charges.

    This is just like the large deficits that Republicans run up, so they can complain about health care benefits from the govt. Completely cynical and undermines our political capital worldwide. Republicans under Trump have done more to destroy our global economic empire than any President in more than a century.

  16. Usman

    In reply to lvthunder:

    Still waiting on those WMDs ?

  17. ramblinggeek

    After BLM, I try and not use the term's whitelist/blacklist

  18. Chris_Kez

    Sweet Christmas, this is getting ridiculous. If the government wants to fight a cultural proxy war they should instead look at the entertainment industry, where Chinese investment and the risk of losing sales in China has led studios to self-censor. You couldn’t go a month in the 80s without seeing a Russian baddie or the 90s without seeing a Middle Eastern baddie, but amazingly these creators have managed to make no popular entertainment critical of the Chinese Communist Party despite its growing global influence and its leader’s autocratic tendencies.

  19. wp7mango

    In reply to lvthunder:

    Because everything the Trump administration has done is nonsense. Everything. Trump has the intelligence of a small fart, and therefore he definitely knows nothing.

    Not one country has seen any evidence of issues with Huawei or Xiaomi consumer devices.

  20. wp7mango

    In reply to lvthunder:

    Trump can't produce proof of large scale election fraud, because there wasn't any. Same goes for this nonsense with Huawei and Xiaomi consumer devices.

  21. spiderman2

    Trump is desperately trying to help his beloved apple