China OKs export control law on national security

Marco Green
October 18, 2020

Souring ties between China and the U.S. had led Washington to take action against several Chinese companies including Huawei Technologies, ByteDance's TikTok app, Tencent Holdings' WeChat, and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. The law would also help put China on a similar footing to the USA, which regularly uses export controls and licences strategically against its adversaries.

The Xinhua news report late on Saturday did not name any target countries, but the United States last month angered Beijing with curbs on exports to Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp, China's biggest chipmaker, and it has taken various steps against Huawei Technologies Co and other companies.

Violation of the new export control law will lead to fines of as much as five million yuan ($746,500) and revocation of export licenses. Breaches that jeopardize national security and interests will also face criminal charges, with organizations and individuals outside of China also punishable under the law.

The new law adds to the growing uncertainty of Bytedance's deal to sell its video app TikTok to USA firm Oracle Corp. In August, China added technologies including voice recognition, text analysis and content recommendation to its list of regulated exports.

President Donald Trump had earlier ordered Bytedance to sell its US operations of TikTok to an American firm or face a block in the country.

China is set to pass a new law that would restrict sensitive exports vital to national security, expanding its toolkit of policy options as competition grows with the USA over access to technologies that will drive the modern economy.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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