Xiaomi’s placement on the US Department of Defense blacklist is confirmed. The distinction received in 2019 by the founder and CEO of the company for service to the Chinese communist model would have precipitated the decision.
Authorities in the United States blacklisted Xiaomi, considering the manufacturer to be a company with ties to military intelligence, after Lei Jun, CEO and founder of Xiaomi, was decorated for service to China.
This distinction, awarded every five years, was presented to him in 2019 by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, recognizing Lei Jun as one of the brilliant standard bearers of communism as conceived by the Chinese diet. Xiaomi had even taken care to highlight this decoration in the biography of its founder, on the company’s website and in its annual activity report. That year, 100 Chinese leaders had been decorated.
An honor that does not put Xiaomi in the party
For the military authorities across the Atlantic, this was enough to take measures to counter the brand’s breakthrough in the country, which, in addition to smartphones and connected gadgets, has strong ambitions in the mobility markets, of 5G and artificial intelligence. Xiaomi’s decision to invest $ 7.7 billion in 5G technologies over the next chandelier may have helped worry US officials. These sanctions will in particular prevent US companies from investing in the development of Xiaomi.
The manufacturer has repeatedly explained that it has no connection with the Chinese government, indicating that its business model is based solely on the sale of goods and services to the general public, under strict commercial use. This did not convince the authorities of Uncle Sam who have been working on this decision for several months. Xiaomi was officially placed on the Defense Ministry’s list of foreign companies to watch on January 14, a few days before Joe Biden succeeded Donald Trump. A decision that had precipitated the Xiaomi share price down on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.