The US has added state-run China National Electronic Import-Export Co. (CEIEC) to a growing blacklist of Chinese firms banned from buying American products, citing the company’s ties to a Venezuelan government that has been at loggerheads with Washington for years, reported Caixin.
The move marks a shift in an ongoing US policy by blacklisting a company for reasons other than national security. Previously, Washington had mostly cited national security as its main reason for adding a steady string of Chinese high-tech firms to an “entity list” that required special licenses for them to keep buying from their US suppliers.
In an announcement of the latest sanctions, the US accused CEIEC of providing technical products and assistance to the administration of Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro, including software, training, and other technical expertise.
Washington chose to sanction CEIEC for “supporting the Maduro regime’s malicious efforts to repress political dissent and undermine democratic processes,” it said in an announcement on the US embassy in Venezuela’s website. “Maduro’s desperate attempts to manipulate the democratic processes should leave no doubt that any elections … will be neither free nor fair,” it added.