Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced new prohibitions on certain transactions involving the WeChat and TikTok mobile applications pursuant to two Executive Orders issued last month.  The new restrictions, spelled out in Federal Register notices available here and here, restrict U.S. companies from providing certain services to Tencent and ByteDance that support

On September 14, 2020, the U.S. Department of Treasury, as Chair of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), published final regulations changing the mandatory CFIUS declaration requirements for transactions involving U.S. businesses that produce, design, test, manufacture, or develop  critical technologies. Previously, the regulations provided that a CFIUS declaration was mandatory

On August 28, 2020, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) updated its list of “Communist Chinese military companies” that provide expertise and technological support to the Chinese military.  The list, which includes a number of large state-owned enterprises in China, does not impose sanctions or export restrictions on the listed companies, although some of the

On August 20, 2020, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) will publish a final rule confirming that the Entity List licensing requirements apply to all transactions in which a listed party plays a role – including where the listed party is the ultimate consignee, end-user, purchaser, or intermediate consignee.  The new rule formally codifies

Over the last month, the United States has taken a variety of steps to increase pressure on China in response to the imposition of China’s National Security Law in Hong Kong and alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang.  These measures include new sanctions programs targeting Hong Kong, export and trade control restrictions, and sanctions targeting actors in the Xinjiang region.  The U.S. government also issued a lengthy Advisory warning U.S. and global companies of supply chain risks related to forced labor and other human rights issues in Xinjiang.

In this post, we highlight some key risks that companies should consider when doing business in the region against the backdrop of rising U.S.-China tensions.


Continue Reading China and Hong Kong Developments: Sanctions, Export Controls, and Supply Chain Risks

On May 22, 2020, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) announced the addition of the following  businesses and a government institute to the agency’s Entity List in response to involvement in or support for human rights abuses related to the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR):

  • China’s Ministry of Public Security’s Institute

Earlier this week, the COVID-19 Accountability Act was introduced in the Senate and the House by Rep. Senator Lindsey Graham and Rep. Doug Collins respectively.  While the text of the draft legislation is not yet available, a summary indicates that it would require within sixty days that the President certify to Congress that China has:

“Provided a full and complete accounting to any COVID-19 investigation led by the United States, its allies, or United Nations affiliates, such as the World Health Organization (WHO);

  • Closed all wet markets that have the potential to expose humans to health risks; and
  • Released all pro-democracy advocates in Hong Kong that were arrested in the post COVID-19 crackdowns.”

If there is no such certification, the Act would then authorize the President to impose at least two of a variety of sanctions to hold China accountable, including travel bans, visa revocations, asset freezes, restricting U.S. financial institutions from loaning money to Chinese businesses, and barring Chinese firms from being listed on American stock exchanges.  Such sanction would be effective until the certification could be made.
Continue Reading COVID-19 Accountability Act – New Potential Sanctions on China

The Department of State’s Office of Defense Trade Controls Policy announced that they are temporarily suspending, modifying, and excepting certain International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) requirements in an effort to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The temporary changes are as follows:

  • As of February 29, 2020, ITAR registrations and fees with an