China on Friday said it would create a blacklist of “unreliable” foreign firms and individuals in a new escalation of its trade war with the United States.

The move comes two weeks after Chinese tech giant Huawei was added to the US Commerce Department’s “entity list”, cutting it off from critical American-made components for its products, though a 90-day reprieve was issued.

After being added to the list, a series of US companies said they would cut off their business with Huawei, while foreign companies have also been left to analyse if the order applies to their business with Huawei.

Gao Feng
Gao Feng. File Photo: GovCN.

The Chinese move to create its own “entity list” appears to be a way to pressure foreign companies to maintain commercial relations with Huawei.

“Foreign enterprises, organisations or individuals that do not comply with market rules, deviate from a contract’s spirit or impose blockades or stop supplies to Chinese enterprises for non-commercial purposes, and seriously damage the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises, will be included on a list of ‘unreliable entities’,” said commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng.

Gao said the detailed measures of China’s list will be announced in the near future.

“Some foreign entities have violated normal market rules and the spirit of their contracts for non-commercial purposes, blockading and cutting off supplies and taking other discriminatory actions against Chinese companies damaging their legitimate rights and interests, and endangering China’s national security and national interests,” Gao said, according to state-owned Global Times.

Washington is also reportedly considering adding several Chinese video surveillance companies to its entity list.

The announcement of the list comes a day before China will increase tariffs on $60 billion in US goods in retaliation to Trump’s decision to hike punitive duties on $200 billion in Chinese products earlier this month.

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