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Biometrics providers among Chinese companies added to U.S. Entity List for rights abuses



Biometrics firms are again prominent among new companies based in China added to the U.S. Government’s Entity List, restricting their access to U.S. technology for carrying out human rights abuses in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR).

The list of entities added to the restricted list by The Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) include facial recognition providers CloudWalk Technology, which just raised a $250 million fundraising round and is planning an IPO, Intellifusion, the CEO of which was recently appointed as an advisor to the local Shenzhen government, and which company is also reportedly planning an IPO, SenseNets, which Microsoft denied a relationship with just over a year ago after a massive data leak exposed the extent of facial recognition use for social control in the XUAR, and its parent company NetPosa, which sells smart city technology, along with facial recognition.

An initial list of 28 organizations, including facial recognition leaders Megvii, SenseTime, Yitu, and Dahua among other biometrics companies was dropped in October, 2019.

The new announcement supplements that first tranche, according to a statement by the Commerce Department’s BIS.

The People’s Republic of China’s Ministry of Public Security’s Institute of Forensic Science was also added to the list, along with IT infrastructure company FiberHome Technologies Group and its cloud and big data subsidiary Nanjing FiberHome Starrysky Communication Development, and IS’Vision, which also provides facial biometrics. A textiles company is also included with the others “for engaging in human rights violations and abuses in the XUAR,” the BIS says.

Inclusion on the Entity List restricts U.S. goods covered by the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) from being exported to them.

“These nine parties are complicit in human rights violations and abuses committed in China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labor and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR),” the announcement alleges.

The Financial Post also reports the U.S. Government has restricted 24 other entities for supporting procurement by the Chinese military.

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