U.S. Places Chinese Drone Maker DJI, AI Firm Megvii and Others on Investment Blacklist

Following SenseTime’s recent ban, the U.S. Treasury Department placed eight more Chinese companies, including DJI, a drone maker, on an investment blacklist due to their roles in facilitating human rights abuses against China’s Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang and other ethnic and religious minorities. The ban took effect on Thursday, December 17.

Also to be added are AI firm Megvii and Yitu Technology, High-tech firm Dawning Information, CloudWalk Technology, a facial recognition software company, Xiamen Meiya Pico, a cyber security group that works with law enforcement, Leon Technology, a cloud computing company, and NetPosa Technologies, a producer of cloud-based surveillance systems.

DJI and Megvii are not publicly traded, but Dawning Information is listed in Shanghai, and Leon, NetPosa and Meiya Pico trade in Shenzhen.

The news was widely expected after the Financial Times first reported on the matter earlier this week.

Last Friday, artificial intelligence startup SenseTime was the first of this most recent group to be hit by the US Treasury’s blacklist. Similarly, the Treasury Department said that the decision to block SenseTime was due to the role its technology allegedly played in enabling human rights abuses against the Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang. SenseTime has strongly denied the accusations. But on Monday, the company postponed its stock market debut in Hong Kong, where it was set to start trading as soon as this week.

SEE ALSO: AI Unicorn SenseTime on U.S. Blacklist, May Postpone HK IPO

Megvii issued a statement on Friday, saying that it strongly opposes the U.S. Treasury Department’s decision and groundless allegations.

In 2019, the US government put Megvii on its “entity list” with the same accusation. Megvii reiterates that the company always adheres to the mission of “using artificial intelligence to benefit the public”, ensures that our technology has a positive impact on society, and abides by all laws and regulations in the areas where its services are provided. This listing will not affect its daily operations, Megvii added.