China has urged the United States to stop the “unreasonable suppression” of Chinese tech giant Huawei as well as other enterprises, as tensions have heightened between the world’s two largest economies.
“The Chinese government will firmly uphold Chinese firms’ legitimate and legal rights and interests,” China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Saturday.
“We urge the US side to immediately stop its unreasonable suppression of Huawei and Chinese enterprises.”
The Trump administration’s actions “destroy global manufacturing, supply and value chains,” it added.
The statement came after Washington imposed new restrictions on Huawei, severely limiting its ability to use American technology to design and manufacture semiconductors produced for it abroad.
US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Friday that the move aims to prevent Huawei from making a run around existing US sanctions.
The new rule prevents any company from selling to Huawei without a license if the product they are selling has been designed or made using US-produced technology or hardware.
The Commerce Department said in a statement on Friday that the new restrictions would “narrowly and strategically” target Huawei’s acquisition of semiconductors that are the direct product of certain US software and technology.
Huawei has not yet responded to requests for comment.
However, China’s Global Times reported on Friday that Beijing was ready to put US companies on an “unreliable entity list,” as part of countermeasures in response to the new limits on Huawei.
The measures include launching investigations and imposing restrictions on US companies such as Apple Inc, Cisco Systems Inc and Qualcomm Inc, as well as suspending purchases of Boeing Co airplanes, the report said.
Global Times also noted that the new restrictions will cut off Huawei’s access to one of its major suppliers, the Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC, which also manufactures chips for Apple and other tech firms.
“It seems the US is ratcheting up efforts to pinch China’s high-tech companies,” it said, adding that the “US suppression has become the No. 1 challenge to China’s development.”
The latest restrictions are a new escalation in the US-China battle for global technological dominance. The United States does not want China to dominate 5G mobile networks and is seeking to convince other nations not to use the Chinese firm’s equipment for 5G.
Huawei — considered the world leader in superfast 5G equipment and the world’s number two smartphone producer— has been under relentless pressure from Washington, which has lobbied allies worldwide to avoid the company’s telecom gear over security concerns, in the shadow of a wider US-China trade conflict.
Washington has repeatedly accused the Chinese tech giant of a “decades-long” effort to steal trade secrets from American companies. Huawei has time and again denied the accusations.
US President Donald Trump’s administration has blacklisted Huawei to block the company from getting any US telecom equipment contracts and prevent the transfer of American technology to the Chinese firm.
Washington accuses Huawei of providing Beijing with a way to spy on communications from the countries that use its products and services.