On October 9, 2019, the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) added 28 Chinese entities to the Entity List because they are accused by the US Government of being associated with human rights violations and abuses against Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups in the Xinijiang Uighur Autonomous Region (“XUAR”). All exports, reexports, or in-country transfers of items (i.e., goods, software, technology) subject to the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”), including EAR99 items, are now subject to a license requirement to such entities. The final rule also includes an extensive list of aliases for these entities.

The Entity List designations appear to be the first time BIS has used the Entity List as a tool against companies accused of human rights violations not otherwise involving items subject to the EAR. These XUAR-related designations are also part of an increasing use of the Entity List against Chinese companies this year, including the addition of various Huawei entities to the Entity List (see our previous blog post here) as well as Chinese companies involved in supercomputer development (see our previous blog post here).

This round of additions to the Entity List include:

  • Dahua Technology
  • Hikvision
  • IFLYTEK
  • Megvii Technology
  • Sense Time
  • Xiamen Meiya Pico Information Co. Ltd.
  • Yitu Technologies
  • Yixin Science and Technology Co. Ltd.
  • XUAR People’s Government Public Security Bureau, along with 18 of its subordinate municipal and county public security bureaus, and 1 other subordinate institute

As a result of the Entity List designations, no supplier — US or non-US, wherever located — may export, reexport, or transfer (in country) any commodity, software, or technology (“items”) subject to the EAR to the 28 Chinese entities unless authorized by a BIS license. BIS will review license applications involving these 28 entities as follows:

  • On a case-by-case basis for Export Control Classification Numbers (“ECCNs”) 1A004.c, 1A004.d, 1A995, 1A999.a, 1D003, 2A983, 2D983, and 2E983.
  • On a case-by-case basis for items designated as EAR99 that are described in the Note to ECCN 1A995, which includes items for protection against chemical or biological agents that are consumer goods, packaged for retail sale or personal use, or medical products.
  • A presumption of denial applies for all other items subject to the EAR (including EAR99 items).

According to statements from the Commerce Department and US State Department, these entities have been involved in a repressive campaign against members of Muslim minority groups in the XUAR that includes mass detentions in internment camps, high-tech surveillance, draconian controls on expressions of cultural and religious identities, and coercion of individuals to return from abroad to China. In response, the State Department has also implemented visa restrictions on Chinese government and Communist Party officials believed to be involved in the human rights abuses.