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US Department of Defense Adds BGI Genomics to Blacklist of 'Chinese Military Companies'

NEW YORK – The US Department of Defense earlier this week added Chinese sequencing giant BGI Genomics, along with 12 other companies, to a list of "Chinese military companies operating directly or indirectly in the United States."

Initially released in June of last year, the list is maintained by the DOD in accordance with the statutory requirement of Section 1260H of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, which directs the agency to start identifying, among other things, Military-Civil Fusion contributors operating directly or indirectly in the US, the Department said in a statement.

Concurrent with the release of the initial tranche of about 50 companies with alleged ties to the Chinese military last June, President Joe Biden signed an executive order that bans US entities from engaging in the purchase or sale of any publicly traded securities of these companies.

The executive order "allows the United States to prohibit — in a targeted and scoped manner — US investments in Chinese companies that undermine the security or democratic values of the United States and our allies," the White House said in a statement at the time.

"The Department is determined to highlight and counter the PRC Military-Civil Fusion strategy, which supports the modernization goals of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) by ensuring its access to advanced technologies and expertise are acquired and developed by PRC companies, universities, and research programs that appear to be civilian entities," the DOD said in a statement after the release of the new batch of Chinese companies this week.

BGI did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether this development will impact BGI subsidiaries that are doing business in the US — including MGI Tech, which recently returned to the US market, and Complete Genomics.