The U.S. Department of Commerce blacklisted 11 Chinese companies on Monday, which were involved in so-called human rights violations related to China's treatment of Uighurs in the western Xinjiang region.
The move, which makes it impossible for companies to buy components from US companies without the approval of the US government, led to a defamation from China that promised to take measures to protect the rights of their companies.
The Department of Commerce said the companies were involved in the use of forced labor by Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities.
Among them are numerous textile companies and two companies that, according to the government, have carried out genetic analyzes to promote the suppression of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities.
It was the third group of companies and institutions in China to be blacklisted in the U.S. after two rounds in which the Trump administration cited 37 companies involved in China's repression in Xinjiang.
"Beijing is actively promoting the reprehensible practice of forced labor and abusive DNA collection and analysis systems to oppress its citizens," Commerce Minister Wilbur Ross said in a statement.
In Beijing, a State Department spokesman said the United States is trying to suppress Chinese companies and slander China's policies in Xinjiang on the pretext of protecting human rights.
"We urge the US to correct its mistakes," said Wang Wenbin at a press conference on Tuesday, adding that China will take all necessary measures to protect the legitimate rights of its companies.
Companies that were blacklisted include Nanchang O-Film Tech, an Apple iPhone provider that hosted Apple CEO Tim Cook in December 2017, according to the O-Film website. It is also a supplier of Amazon.com Inc and Microsoft, according to a April letter to the congress. The US companies did not immediately comment.
The list includes two subsidiaries of the Beijing Genomics Institute, a genomics company linked to the Chinese government, said Senator Marco Rubio.
He said the supplements would "ensure that US technology does not support the Chinese Communist Party crimes against humanity and the immense violations of human rights against Uighurs and other minorities in Xinjiang, including the forced collection of DNA."
In addition, there is the KTK Group Co, which manufactures more than 2,000 products for high-speed trains, from electronics to the seats. and Tanyuan Technology Co, which assembles highly heat-conducting graphite-reinforced aluminum composite materials.
Another company is Changji Esquel Textile Co, which the Esquel Group founded in 2009. The Esquel Group produces clothing for Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Hugo Boss.
In a letter to Ross on Monday, Esquel chief John Chen asked for the unit to be removed from the list. "Esquel does not use forced labor, and we will never use forced labor," Chen wrote. "We are absolutely and categorically against forced labor."
Efforts to ask other companies in China to comment have been unsuccessful outside of normal business hours.
Hetian Haolin Hair Accessories Co. is also on the black list. On May 1, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that it would stop importing the company's hair products, citing evidence of forced labor.
On July 1, CBP in Newark seized a delivery of nearly 13 tons of hair products worth more than $ 800,000 with human hair that was said to be from Xinjiang.
Commerce previously added 20 Chinese security bureaus and companies, including video surveillance company Hikvision and leaders in facial recognition technology SenseTime Group Ltd and Megvii Technology related to China's treatment of Muslim minorities.
(Reporting by David Shepardson and Diane Bartz; Additional reporting by Gabriel Crossley in Beijing; Editing by Richard Pullin and Clarence Fernandez)
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and is generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)