back to article Biden expands Chinese tech and military blocklist to 59 companies

US president Joe Biden has issued an executive order to expand the Trump-era ban preventing Chinese tech and defence companies from receiving American investment, upping it from 31 to 59 named entities. The increase goes into effect August 2, officials said. Funds that currently have investments in banned companies or debt …

  1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

    Guess what we found!

    This could shape up into some fun. So, wonder if this means Daszak's EcoHealth Alliance will no longer be allowed to be the bagman between the US NIH (Mr Fauci, your bus is waiting) and China's virology labs. Which may or may not have been using the money to do gain-of-function research that had been illegal in the US. Daszak already seems to have been in the queue ahead of Fauci.

    I guess his is one way to test competing conspiracy theories though. If there's truth, then China might leak something more embarassing. If there's not, Fauci et al still have some explaining to do around off-shoring bioweapon related research to a 'hostile' foreign power via an intermediary 'charity' that supposedly worked to prevent biosecurity threats, not promote them.

    Otherwise, it seems more of the same. The US taking a view that sanctions will harm China more than it will US companies that rely on Chinese industries and labour. Especially given China's probably got a very good handle on likely US inventories and lead-times for critical components.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Guess what we found!

      90 days tik tok

      That's till the President gets to see the report from US intelligence. (Then soon after President Xi, President Biden gets to see it. ;)

    2. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Guess what we found!

      @Jellied Eel

      Careful, depending how the fact checkers are feeling this day/week/month you could be flagged or banned on various platforms for saying such.

      Whatever the facts turn out to be this should be one hell of a warning against social media companies deciding what is 'truth'.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: Guess what we found!

        Whatever the facts turn out to be this should be one hell of a warning against social media companies deciding what is 'truth'.

        Problem is the truth can be rather elusive. Problem is also that 'fact checkers' often aren't, and can't be in posession of the facts. Or the way the narrative can be distorted, or that old chestnut 'taken out of context'. It could still be entirely coincidental that the outbreak originated at (or very near) a lab doing work on SARS-type coronaviruses.

        But the denials came swiftly, eg the letter Daszak organised for the Lancet denouncing a 'conspiracy'. Now there's a paper trail seeming to show a money trail. But that still might not have anything to do with the outbreak, just a tad inconvenient. Vanity Fair's done an interesting report, but I think there are still a lot of unanswered questions. Like if the lab wasn't the origin, what was?

        1. razorfishsl

          Re: Guess what we found!

          No becasue the report will be "secret"

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Xenophobic or not ?

    Those on the left need to stand up and cancel Old Man Joe for this obvious xenophobic stance ?

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: Xenophobic or not ?

      Referring to any ruling party in America as "on the left" is the equivalent of saying the Earth is flat.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Xenophobic or not ?

        Which is exactly the opposite of what the poster you're replying to said.

  3. Claverhouse Silver badge
    Angel

    Mr. Biden, Tear Down This Wall !

    In so many ways Scranton Joe is wisely continuing his predecessor's policies, he's a breath of stale air.

    1. tfewster Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Mr. Biden, Tear Down This Wall !

      S'funny, but it sounds rational when anyone other than Trump says it. But then, even a broken clock is right twice a day, so Trump got one thing right regarding China (and many things wrong - Best buddies, greatest trade deals, protectionist tariffs to protect uncompetitive US industries).

      S'also funny how many Biden detractors have to come up with childish nicknames to try to tarnish the current President. It's almost like they can't come up with a coherent argument either.

      1. sev.monster Bronze badge

        Re: Mr. Biden, Tear Down This Wall !

        You act like Trump wasn't considered by many to be The Orange Menace. Just because the ball is now in (I assume) your party's court does not somehow invalidate the fact that the exact same tactics were used by Trump detractors, often very much so by those of opposing political parties.

        There are children on both sides. Don't pretend there isn't.

        PS: In defense of my own childlike whimsy, and in a completely apolitical fashion, Biden's nicknames have been much funnier and varied compared to the overused Orange Man Bad. Yes, we get it, he had a terrible spraytan. I want something funnier!

      2. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Mr. Biden, Tear Down This Wall !

        @tfewster

        "S'funny, but it sounds rational when anyone other than Trump says it."

        Thats the pleasure of the tribal bias aka selective blindness/hearing

        "But then, even a broken clock is right twice a day"

        Is that a comment on Trump or Biden. It really could be for either.

        "Trump got one thing right regarding China"

        And possibly the virus origins. Maybe 2 things depending on your opinions.

        "S'also funny how many Biden detractors have to come up with childish nicknames to try to tarnish the current President"

        Almost a continuation of the previous 5 years where Trump detractors used childish nicknames. And even some for Obama (my favourite being Obambi).

        "It's almost like they can't come up with a coherent argument either."

        If you are a defender of Biden I really dont suggest you go that route. Trump got called out for his public gaffs but already Joe has made some corkers.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Mr. Biden, Tear Down This Wall !

          Codejunky "Almost a continuation of the previous 5 years where Trump detractors used childish nicknames"

          4 years. The US presidential term is four years.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Mr. Biden, Tear Down This Wall !

            @AC

            "4 years. The US presidential term is four years."

            I was allowing for a year campaigning. Hell the number of times I saw that damn Simpson escalator image, I am sure he did it on purpose just to get people posting it.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Mr. Biden, Tear Down This Wall !

              President Trump announced his candidacy in June 2015. Would that not be 5½ years in that case?

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: Mr. Biden, Tear Down This Wall !

                @AC

                I dunno thats why I put 5. If you wish to find a more specific length of time go for it. Could probably do the same for Biden too if you like. He was also getting plenty name calling during campaigning.

                Btw are you the AC following me around on other threads? Sorry if not but my pet troll recently claimed he wouldnt post and suddenly I seem to have AC's following me around.

      3. Claverhouse Silver badge

        Re: Mr. Biden, Tear Down This Wall !

        Actually Scranton Joe is his own choice, and adopted to demonstrate he's a plain working man from the grassroots who has led a modest life of ordinary folk since the day he want into politics.

        .

        .

        Irish too, he says. Having had an Irish ancestor who came to the United States in, I think, 1849.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Mr. Biden, Tear Down This Wall !

      breath of stale air

      and deserves a "slow clap" for having done something right

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    FAIL

    But of course

    "the use of Chinese surveillance technology outside the PRC and the development or use of Chinese surveillance technology to facilitate repression or serious human rights abuse constitute unusual and extraordinary threats "

    Whereas the use of NSA surveillance technology is perfectly fine, because we're the Good Guys.

    Pull the other one.

    Either surveillance tech is a good thing, or it isn't. It doesn't matter where it's from.

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

      Re: But of course

      NINJAed

      Just what I was thinking. Mind you, the disunited queendom is no better.

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: But of course

      True but tu quoque. US abuses don't excuse Chinese abuses, and aren't a reason for the former to refrain from complaining about the latter.

  5. Kaki

    So...

    I condemn all non-vegans while eating a healthy piece of steak.

  6. Winkypop Silver badge
    Devil

    The only amazing thing here is….

    …that Trump may have gotten something right.

    Shocked, shocked I am!

  7. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge

    A figleaf

    This is just banning US investment in these companies. It will have no effect on the companies themselves. It does not normally matter to a company whether its shares are held by shareholder A or shareholder B.

    The order seems designed to make it look as though Biden is being tough on China while not actually doing anything to hurt China.

    1. sev.monster Bronze badge

      Re: A figleaf

      You ignore the fact that after the US announced its intentions, non-government investors pulled out of many of the affected companies, with Huawei being hugely impacted. Joe Public also lost a lot of trust not just in Huawei and others on the list, but all Chinese companies in general, which grealy affected sales.

      But yeah, until substantive legislative actions bigger than sanctions hit China, I don't think anything will truly come of this. Just a bunch of angry kids kicking in the sandbox.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Waaaaay too late

    Given the amount of US debt the Chinese own and what they're doing on the EV and energy front I'd say they're about a decade too late.

    If China gets really pissed off it could just squeeze a little and the US would have no choice to comply with a high pitched squeeky voice.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We have cyber security operations centres both sides of the Atlantic; capable of monitoring our internal traffic and re-routing stuff if necessary. While they were being set up, we installed video conferencing kit in them.

    Within 5 minutes of it being plugged in the wall, the cameras were detected trying to ping messages back to China.

    Buying anything for "really" secure environments now is damn near impossible. You can do an initial verification by plugging stuff in in a safe environment, but, unless you have access to the firmware and software sources; and able to re-create/verify all of the contents, creating a platform trusted by yourself is rather difficult.

    If a US and/or European electronics supplier were to roll out such a supply line of hardware made "here" with the means of verification down to hardware level, we would be happy to pay the premium associated with making it here.

    As a private citizen I'd rather buy that than Chinese unknowns too to be fair.

    There are also a line of USB battery chargers connected to vaguely useful devices, being sold sub-production cost, because the USB end also contains a small flash ROM and malware uploader.

    And people wonder why I prefer the C64/Amiga days. Heh.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's what firewalls are designed .for -- use them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Firewalls, obviously yes. Or, maybe one could actually procure equipment that isn't deliberately compromised by design, by a state threat actor involvement on day zero.

        Seriously, I don't get the percieved "low" production cost that comes with "Made in China". The "other" costs that come with it are vicious. Shipping costs are already high and likely to rise further. The ethical questions of supporting the CCP are at best, dubious. There is absolutely ample evidence of compromising equipment by manufacture.

        I wouldn't care but an awful lot of actual semiconductor design work is done in both the UK and US; the act of farming out manufacture to save a few cents at cost of untrustworthy kit is self defeating.

        I am under no illusions that US produced software (not much hardware these days...) have plenty of backdoors, and the US has actively attacked nation states using such tactics. Still, better the devil you know.

  10. razorfishsl

    He needs to add "fs" to that list......

    who are taking over from Hua wei.....

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