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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

Today the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) added 24 Chinese state-owned companies to the Entity List for their role in the construction of artificial islands in the South China Sea.  The Entity List prohibits the export, re-export, and transfer (in-country) of items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to these companies without a

On August 20, the Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) published a final rule (“final rule”) amending the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”) to expand restrictions on transactions involving Huawei entities that are included on BIS’s Entity List (“designated Huawei entities”).  The newly expanded rule applies to a broader range of items produced outside 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

Last Thursday, the President issued two executive orders (“E.O.s”) targeting social media applications TikTok (and its parent company, ByteDance) and WeChat (and its parent company, Tencent Holdings).  The E.O.s direct the Department of Commerce (“DOC”) to prohibit transactions involving the applications.  Companies that deal directly with TikTok or WeChat in the United States and abroad or use their services need to evaluate the scope of those activities and determine if they will be affected by the E.O.s.

The E.O.s were issued pursuant to the national emergency declared in E.O. 13873 regarding information and communication services in the United States that are controlled by persons within the jurisdiction of a “foreign adversary.”  In issuing the E.O.s, the President cited concerns that the Chinese government could gain access to Americans’ personal information collected by the applications, among other policy considerations.  The President has the power to issue the directives under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA,” 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), which provides the President with the authority to declare national emergencies and implement sweeping trade controls based on national security concerns.

The intended scope of the E.O.s is not clear due to ambiguous language used in Section 1, which contain the E.O.s’ primary prohibitions.  Here is an excerpt of that section from the TikTok order:
Continue Reading President Issues Executive Orders Targeting TikTok and WeChat

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

Today the U.S. State Department published updated guidance indicating that significant transactions related to Nord Stream 2 and the second line of TukStream may be subject to U.S. secondary sanctions penalties under Section 232 of CAATSA.

Section 232 authorizes the U.S. government to impose a bevy of sanctions on non-U.S. parties that make investments in

Today the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced a settlement agreement with Amazon for apparent violations of U.S. sanctions regulations by the company. The announcement puts e-commerce and online companies on notice to increase their vigilance when it comes to sanctions screening.

According to OFAC, Amazon violated U.S. regulations by conducting retail e-commerce transactions