China to release details on blacklist of 'unreliable' companies soon

Beijing (AFP) –


China said Thursday that it would soon release detailed information about a planned blacklist of "unreliable" companies and individuals as Beijing hits back in a trade war with Washington.

Last month the US Commerce Department placed Chinese tech giant Huawei and dozens of its affiliates on an "entity list" on grounds of national security.

The move curbed access to crucial US-made components and software -- though a 90-day reprieve was later issued.

Beijing announced its countermeasures last week, saying it would target firms that break their commercial contracts and stop supplying Chinese firms with its own list.

"The Chinese government is carrying out the necessary procedures, and specific measures will be announced in the near future," commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng said.

For those companies that follow market rules, they have nothing to worry about, Gao said, adding the list would not target any specific field or company.

"The unreliable entity list system that the Chinese government will establish is a normative system designed in reaction to practices distorting the market for non-commercial purposes," he told reporters.

China is consulting international examples on how to carry out its entity list, Gao said.

"The aim is to safeguard a fair competitive market."

Chinese law experts have said it will function in the same way as the US entity list, banning Chinese firms from selling or cooperating with companies on the list.

Analysts expect US and international firms that have cut off supplies to Huawei to be among the first added to the list.

Ties between China and the US have deteriorated sharply after trade negotiations stalled last month without a deal to lift bruising tariffs on goods worth $360 billion in two-way trade.

Instead, the two sides hiked punitive tariffs, and expanded their tariff war into a broader fight.

"If the US obstinately continues to escalate trade frictions, China will take the necessary countermeasures and resolutely defend the interests of our nation and people," said Gao.