Mon | May 27, 2019

China criticises US action against Huawei

Published:Thursday | May 16, 2019 | 9:57 AM
Shoppers browse smartphones at a Huawei retail store in Hangzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang province, Thursday, May 16, 2019. (Chinatopix via AP)

BEIJING (AP) — China vowed Thursday to “resolutely safeguard” Chinese companies after Washington labelled telecom equipment giant Huawei a security risk and imposed export curbs on U.S. technology sales to the company.

A foreign ministry spokesman, Lu Kang, criticised the moves as an “abuse of export control measures” after the Trump administration issued an order requiring Huawei to obtain government permission for purchases.

Huawei Technologies Ltd., the biggest global maker of switching equipment for phone companies, has spent a decade fighting accusations it facilitates Chinese spying.

“We urge the United States to stop the wrong approach,” said a foreign ministry spokesman, Lu Kang. “China will take further necessary measures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises.”

Lu gave no details, but analysts warned the export controls threaten to worsen a U.S.-Chinese conflict over technology and trade.

The restriction is “a grave escalation with China that at minimum plunges the prospect of continued trade negotiations into doubt,” said Eurasia Group analysts in a report.

“Unless handled carefully, this situation is likely to place U.S. and Chinese companies at new risk,” the report said.

President Donald Trump also issued an executive order Wednesday that bans phone carriers from using the technology of “foreign adversaries” deemed to pose “unacceptable risks” to national security.

While it doesn’t name specific countries or companies, it follows months of U.S. pressure on Huawei.

It gives the Commerce Department 150 days to come up with regulations.

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