US Blacklists Chinese Biotech Groups For DNA Collection Technology & Mass Surveillance

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Friday, Dec 17, 2021 - 01:00 AM

The Biden administration on Thursday announced it has placed China's Academy of Military Medical Sciences along with 11 other institutes involved in biotechnology on an export blacklist for their involvement in assisting the Communist government's oppression and surveillance of its Muslim Uighur population. 

Among other things the companies' advanced technology is used for DNA collection as a key social control measure in the Xinjiang region, as part of efforts to use genetic technology to further mass surveillance capabilities. "These actions come in the broader context of the administration’s efforts to address the misuse of technology to surveil and in many cases…to exercise large scale repressive social control," a senior Biden administration official told The Wall Street Journal.

Image: Associated Press

Further the Treasury Department was cited as saying the "action highlights how private firms in China’s defense and surveillance technology sectors are actively cooperating with the government’s efforts to persecute ethnic minorities."

Included in the blacklist of entities that US firms can no longer invest in are commercial drone-making giant DJI Technology Co. and government linked facial-recognition technology development companies. It follows on the heels of prior sanctions days ago, most notably against the large facial recognition company SenseTime.

Additionally making the list are the facial recognition software start-up company Megvii, as well as Dawning Information Industry, which provides supercomputer-based cloud-computing services in Xinjiang. Commerce and Treasury's growing list of banned Chinese military-industrial complex companies will by the end of this week reach almost 70. 

In some notable instances the sanctions saw immediate effect:  "SenseTime said this week it would postpone its $767 million initial public offering in Hong Kong, after reports the Chinese artificial intelligence company was being put on the US investment blacklist," according to reports.

Years ago, The Wall Street Journal and others began investigating Beijing's attempts to build the world's largest ever DNA security database, which could ensnare the "innocent and guilty alike"...

"The police collected a lot more names they could add to the world’s biggest DNA database, an essential part of China’s high-tech security blanket being unfurled across the country as Beijing seeks to better monitor its 1.4 billion citizens," one prior report said. "Nationwide, police have a goal of almost doubling China’s current DNA trove to 100 million records by 2020, according to a Wall Street Journal examination of documents from police departments across China. To get there, they need to gather almost as many records each year as are in the entire national database the U.S. has built over two decades."