Briefs | China denies its unreliable entity list targets US companies


China dismissed accusations of targeting U.S. firms as it seeks to punish foreign companies that damage its national security by adding them to a “unreliable entity list,” the Ministry of Commerce said in a press conference. China said it would continue to welcome foreign investors, open its economy by deepening market reforms, and that it has no intention to target any particular countries or entities. The list will comprise a small number of foreign entities that have put China’s national sovereignty, security and development interests in danger, it said. Penalties will only be imposed if offenders fail to rectify their transgressions during a grace period, it added. China said it would reveal the list without specifying the timeline for the release. The new policies for punishing those on the list took effect on Saturday.

Beijing bans seafood from Indonesian exporter after virus found

An Indonesian seafood exporter has become the latest in a string of companies to be slapped with a ban by China after product packaging tested positive for the coronavirus. The country will halt imports of aquatic products from PT Putri Indah for a week after finding coronavirus particles on the packaging of frozen hairtail, the customs office said in statement. The company based in North Sumatra did not immediately respond to requests for comment by text and phone. Chinese authorities have been investigating imported meat, seafood, packaging and containers as a potential source of Covid-19 since June after repeatedly finding traces of the pathogen. Still, only six of more than 500,000 samples have tested positive for the coronavirus, customs said earlier this month. The country has previously banned imports of products including frozen meat, Ecuadorian shrimps and Brazilian chicken wings following positive tests.

Carmakers risk falling behind global rivals, think tank warns

China’s carmakers risk falling behind global rivals because the country trails in the production of advanced components like chips and software that are crucial for modern vehicles, a prominent industry adviser warned. The government should form a comprehensive component strategy and build a platform that connects automakers with suppliers, helping local developers of advanced parts, Zhang Yongwei, vice president of China EV 100, a high-profile electric-vehicle industry think tank, said last week at a forum in Nanjing. “The supply-chain problem has to be solved,” Zhang said at the industry gathering. An automobile powerhouse must have a strong supply chain of its own, he said. China has been the world’s biggest vehicle market and producer for a decade, claiming about a third of the global total. But in semiconductors, China has only one company in the top 20, Zhang said. Less than 5% of automotive chips are made in the country and for some key components, carmakers rely 90% on imports, he said.

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