A tweak to U.S. export restrictions is letting a prominent Chinese tech company sidestep measures designed to punish the firm over its alleged involvement in the repression of Muslims within the country, records show.
Why it matters: The artificial intelligence company SenseTime’s strategy to bypass those measures shows how companies deemed national security risks — or accused of complicity in human rights abuses — can bypass U.S. restrictions.
The backstory: In 2019, the Commerce Department added SenseTime to its Entity List, barring it from doing business with large swaths of U.S. companies absent a license.
- Commerce said SenseTime was “implicated in human rights violations and abuses in China’s campaign targeting Uighurs and other predominately Muslim ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.”
- Last year, the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security made a subtle tweak to the designation. The company on the Entity List…