US judge removes China’s Xiaomi from Trump-era blacklist

WASHINGTON (AFP) – A United States (US) judge yesterday ordered Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi temporarily removed from a government blacklist barring American investment in the company.

Six days before Donald Trump left office last year, his administration cemented its trade war legacy against Beijing with a series of announcements targeTting Chinese firms including Xiaomi, state oil giant CNOOC, and social media darling TikTok.

Xiaomi was one of nine firms classified by the Pentagon as “Communist Chinese military companies.”

But US District Judge Rudolph Contreras in Washington ruled yesterday the Departments of Defence and Treasury “have not made the case that the national security interests at stake here are compelling.”

He issued a preliminary injunction removing Xiaomi from the blacklist and suspending the ban on US investors buying the company’s securities.

In an appeal filed in January against its blacklisting, Xiaomi – which overtook Apple last year to become the world’s third-largest smartphone manufacturer – said Washington’s moves were “incorrect” and had “deprived the company of legal due process.”