US blacklists Chinese genetics firms over surveillance allegations

Atlanta/Hong Kong

The United States on Thursday added two subsidiaries of Chinese genetics company BGI to a trade blacklist over allegations that it conducted genetic analysis and surveillance activities for Beijing, which Washington said was used to suppress ethnic minorities in China. China.

This was reported by the US Department of Commerce, which is responsible for export control. statement that BGI Research and BGI Tech Solutions (Hong Kong) “pose a significant risk of diverting attention to China’s military programs.”

“The addition of these organizations is based on information that indicates that their collection and analysis of genetic data poses a significant risk of facilitating monitoring and surveillance by the Chinese government, which has been used to suppress ethnic minorities in China,” the report said. says in the statement.

CNN reached out to BGI Group, one of the world’s largest genomics companies and a stock-listed firm based in Shenzhen, for comment on its subsidiaries.

In 2020 US Department of Commerce added two others BGI affiliates, Xinjiang Silk Road BGI and Beijing Liuhe BGI, have been blacklisted for their alleged involvement in human rights abuses against Uighurs and other predominantly Muslim minorities in China’s far western region of Xinjiang.

The BGI Group then issued a statement denying the allegations, stating that it “does not engage in unethical practices or provide gene technology to spy on Uyghurs.”

According to the condemnation United Nations report In the past year, China has regularly refuted these reports with strong denials.

The latest list compiled by the US Department of Commerce includes a total of 28 Chinese organizations, four from Pakistan, three from Myanmar, and one each from Belarus, Russia, and Taiwan.

Listing means that organizations are prohibited from buying American technology and other goods.

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