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US to blacklist Chinese AI company SenseTime over Xinjiang ahead of IPO

The United States will put SenseTime, a Chinese artificial intelligence company specializing in facial recognition software, on the investment blacklist on the same day as the initial public offering price in Hong Kong.

The proceedings against SenseTime that Washington will allow human rights abuses against Muslim Uighurs in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region will be part of a package of sanctions against many countries commemorating Human Rights Day, according to three people familiar with the decision. right.

The US Treasury adds SenseTime to the list of “Chinese military-industrial complex companies.” June, President Joe Biden Signed an executive order It banned Americans from investing in listed companies in accordance with the Trump administration’s policy aimed at addressing national security threats.

The decision to blacklist SenseTime is Democracy Summit Biden has been convened in more than 100 countries.

The president of the United States Virtual meeting Last month, we talked with China’s Xi Jinping on how to prevent tensions between the two countries. However, Biden emphasized that he would not stop criticizing China for human rights abuses.

The White House refused to comment on SenseTime and sanctions. The Treasury did not respond to requests for comment.

Blacklists can be a problem for US shareholders of SenseTime. Silver Lake, a private equity firm in the United States that holds a 3% stake in the company, has agreed to lock a portion of its stake for six months after the IPO. Fidelity and Qualcomm own smaller shares.

According to US bank executives, HSBC is the only western investment bank involved in an IPO.

After SenseTime was blacklisted by the US Department of Commerce, others avoided the list. Entity list, 2019.

Sanctions on SenseTime show the latest efforts to punish China for suppressing it. Uighurs over 1m Other ethnic minorities exposed to detention and forced labor in camps in the northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. China denies that claim, stating that the place is an educational camp.

The White House this week Diplomatic boycott Of the Beijing Winter Olympics. The UK, Australia and Canada followed.

The US House of Representatives passed a bill on Wednesday banning the import of goods from the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region unless it proved that forced labor was not used in the manufacturing process.

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman told the Financial Times in an interview that Biden will continue to consider Xinjiang-related sanctions goals. Asked if the United States would try to prosecute Chinese officials involved in policy, she said: “We should consider all the options that make sense.”

China’s state-sponsored investors work prominently at SenseTime IPO. Hong Kong’s largest list In a few months.

Of the planned $ 450 million foundation investment, $ 200 million will be created in late 2020 by the state-owned China Chenton Holdings Group and other investors with the support of Beijing’s State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration. It is from the Mixed Ownership Reform Fund. Commission.

SenseTime relies heavily on China for most of its business, with facial recognition, predictive policing, and other AI tools sold to cities accounting for 40% of the total last year. As China’s technology group pursues the development of its own internal AI system, the importance of government sales to the future is increasing.

Follow Demetri Sevastopulo, Hudson Lockett and Ryan McMorrow on Twitter. @Dimi, @KangHexin When @rwmcmorrow

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US to blacklist Chinese AI company SenseTime over Xinjiang ahead of IPO Source link US to blacklist Chinese AI company SenseTime over Xinjiang ahead of IPO

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