China warns technology companies of ‘dire consequences’ if they follow US ban

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping shake hands in the impressive St George Hall in the Kremlin.

China has summoned major technology companies and warned them of “dire consequences” if they comply with US efforts to ban sales of technology to Chinese companies, a US paper says.

Chinese government officials warned “a number of the world’s most important semiconductor firms as well as other tech giants”, including Microsoft and Dell from the US and Samsung of South Korea, The New York Times reported. 

The officials warned that the companies would face repercussions if they cooperated with the Washington ban against doing business with Chinese firms, the paper said.

Both US and non-US companies that export goods to China were addressed by the Chinese government officials, it added.

The officials allegedly warned American firms against relocating their production lines to other countries, saying their actions could have permanent consequences.

Beijing has pledged to set up a blacklist of “unreliable entities” in retaliation for the recent US ban against China's electronics giant Huawei.

Last month, the administration of US President Donald Trump cut off Huawei from sales of American technology over accusations of stealing trade secrets and conducting surveillance on behalf of Beijing.

Both Huawei and the Chinese government have dismissed the allegations, saying they are aimed at curbing the company's meteorite rise in the world.

Many countries across the world, including close US allies, have opposed the US ban and pledged to continue dealings with Huawei.

On Friday, Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourao said the government will not exclude the Chinese telecom company from operating a fifth-generation (5G) mobile telecoms network in Latin America’s largest economy.

According to an industry analysis, cited by Reuters on Saturday, the US ban on buying telecoms equipment from Chinese firms would add about $62 billion to the cost of 5G networks in Europe and delay the technology.

Huawei's products are widely purchased and used by operators in Europe. Telecoms lobby group GSMA, which represents the interests of 750 mobile operators, has already voiced concerns about the consequences of a full ban on Huawei.

In the United States, Huawei purchases about $20 billion of semiconductors each year and losing those sales could hurt American chip suppliers.China to curb some technology exports to US

China’s Global Times newspaper said Saturday the country is preparing some measures to curb a portion of technology exports to the United States in retaliation for US restrictions imposed on Huawei.

In a show of solidarity with China, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that aggressive US tactics such as a campaign against Huawei would lead to trade wars and possibly real wars.Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer and daughter of its founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Canada in December at the request of the United States on charges of violating US sanctions against Iran.

Huawei last year surpassed Apple to become the world’s second-largest smartphone manufacturer behind Samsung.

Critics says the US motive in attacking Huawei lies in the fact that the company is a rival in a crucial sector of the world economy in which America has enjoyed unrivaled supremacy for decades.

Tensions between Washington and Beijing are growing amid a raging trade war triggered by Trump's imposition of tariffs on $325 billion worth of Chinese products and similar retaliatory measures by China.