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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

The ‘real’ reason why the US blacklisted Xiaomi

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Former US president Donald Trump did have a thorny relationship with China, especially when it came to trade and technology companies. During the last days of his presidency, Trump and his administration blacklisted Xiaomi for its ‘alleged’ ties with the Chinese military.The US Department of Defence put Xiaomi on the list and the Chinese company came out defiantly denying any such allegation. “The Company has been in compliance with law and operating in compliance with the relevant laws and regulations of jurisdictions where it conducts its businesses. 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”.
However, a new report by The Wall Street Journal now reveals the real reason why the US had blacklisted Xiaomi. The US Defence Department cited a legal filing under which an award given to Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun was the main reason for the company being blacklisted. 100 executives — including Lei — were given the “Outstanding Builder of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics” award in 2019.
Now if you are wondering how an award could lead to a rather drastic step then here’s why. The award was given by MIIT, a government agency that looks at China’s technology and industrial policies. According to the report, the agency is responsible for China’s “civil-military fusion” and is responsible for China working with private companies to create tech for the country’s military.
Interestingly, the award given to its CEO is promoted on his biography page on the company’s corporate website. Xiaomi, as per multiple reports, has been using the legal route to get itself removed from the US’ blacklist. The company hasn’t commented on the award being the reason behind its troubles in the US.

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