The U.S. Department of Defense recently added Hesai Technology, a Nasdaq-listed Chinese technology company, to its list of businesses with connections to the Chinese military. Hesai Technology, which specializes in LiDAR road sensing equipment for various civilian applications, including self-driving vehicles, delivery robots, and more, has strongly denied any military connections and plans to file a lawsuit against the U.S. government. The company’s CEO, Yifan “David” Li, criticized the move as “unjust, capricious and meritless,” stating that their products are strictly designed for civilian use and do not adhere to military specifications. Despite this, the company’s stock price has significantly declined following the announcement.
The Defense Department periodically revises its list of Chinese military companies in an effort to counter alleged ties between the Chinese military and civilian entities. This action is part of broader U.S. efforts to restrict China’s access to advanced U.S. technology and limit American investments in strategically sensitive Chinese industries. This move has sparked protests from China’s foreign and commerce ministries, and is just the latest development in a series of actions targeting Chinese companies. The article also notes that in 2021, Xiaomi Corp., a major Chinese smartphone maker, was removed from the blacklist after taking legal action against the U.S. government and denying any connections to China’s People’s Liberation Army.
The situation highlights the ongoing tensions between the U.S. and China in the technology and industrial sectors, as well as the complexities of navigating international trade and military relations. It also underscores the potential impact that being listed as a Chinese military company can have on a business, as evidenced by the significant drop in Hesai Technology’s stock price. This case is indicative of the broader dynamics at play between the world’s two largest economies and their efforts to reshape trade and military relations.