US provides Chinese genetics companies to commerce blacklist over surveillance allegations

Atlanta/Hong Kong

The United States on Thursday added two subsidiaries of Chinese genetics firm BGI to a commerce blacklist over allegations it carried out genetic evaluation and surveillance actions for Beijing, which Washington says was used to repress ethnic minorities in China.

The US Department of Commerce, which oversees export controls, mentioned in an announcement that BGI Research and BGI Tech Solutions (Hongkong) “present a significant risk of diversion to China’s military programs.”

“The addition of these entities is based upon information that indicates their collection and analysis of genetic data poses a significant risk of contributing to monitoring and surveillance by the government of China, which has been utilized in the repression of ethnic minorities in China,” the assertion mentioned.

CNN has reached out to BGI Group, which is likely one of the world’s largest genomics firms and a listed agency based mostly in Shenzhen, for touch upon its subsidiaries.

In 2020, the US Department of Commerce added two different BGI associates, Xinjiang Silk Road BGI and Beijing Liuhe BGI, to the commerce blacklist over their alleged involvement in human proper abuses in opposition to Uyghur and different primarily Muslim minorities in China’s far western area of Xinjiang.

BGI Group issued an announcement on the time denying the allegations, saying it “does not engage in unethical practices and does not provide gene technology for the surveillance of Uighurs.”

Rights teams have documented human rights abuses in Xinjiang because the 2000s, together with compelled labor and coercive enforcement of household planning and contraception insurance policies on Uyghur minorities, in keeping with a damning United Nations report final 12 months. China has commonly pushed again in opposition to these studies with agency denials.

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The newest listing compiled by the US Department of Commerce features a whole of 28 Chinese entities, 4 from Pakistan, three from Myanmar and one every from Belarus, Russia and Taiwan.

Being positioned on the listing means the entities are restricted from shopping for American know-how and different items.