Fifteen days after being blacklisted by the former US administration for its alleged “affiliation” with the Chinese army, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi sued the US defense and treasury departments through Columbia district court on Friday, seeking removal from the list.
Unlike the Chinese companies Huawei, which was denied access to US semiconductors, and ByteDance, which was denied access to the US market, Xiaomi was only prohibited from receiving investment from the US, according to the order signed by the former US president.
As such, Xiaomi’s legal action is being widely viewed as determining the extent to which the new administration is willing to inherit its predecessor’s legacy.
During the past four years, based on no substantial evidence, 44 Chinese enterprises have been blacklisted by the Defense Department, and 57 Chinese entities blacklisted by the Commerce Department on the grounds they represent national security threats.
As a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry said, the Donald Trump administration’s abuses of state power to attack Chinese enterprises have not only hindered normal trade and investment cooperation between the two countries, they have also violated the market competition principle and international economic and trade norms it champions.
In his inauguration speech, President Joe Biden stressed that the US must lead “by the power of our example, not the example of power”, something he reiterated throughout his presidential election campaign.
The US talks a lot about a level playing field and fair trade, but as yet, the Biden administration has not taken any concrete actions to remedy the unfair treatment of Chinese entities.
And it should not be forgotten that many other entities from the rest of the world are also on the US’ blacklist. Facts speak louder than words, and it is still too early to express relief that the US is “back” as some have done.
Over the past four years, the previous US administration overstretched the concept of national security to suppress Chinese companies. Its practices not only hurt the rights and interests of Chinese companies, they also hurt the interests of US businesses and workers, and those of other countries.
If the US is truly to return to the international fold, it should respect the principle of fair competition, and foster an open, non-discriminatory environment.