Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is filing a lawsuit against the US Departments of Defense and Finance because it was blacklisted by the Americans earlier this month.
Xiaomi calls the blacklist “unconstitutional” and wants a judge to reverse the decision. The lawsuit also shows that US Defense Ministers, Lloyd Austin, and Treasury, Janet Yellen, have been identified as defendants.
Xiaomi says the decision will lead to “imminent, serious and irreparable harm if the designation remains in effect and the restrictions take effect,” according to the Columbia court documents. Xiaomi reiterated that the company is not owned, controlled by, or otherwise associated with the Chinese government or the military, or other entities related to the Chinese defence industry.
According to the United States, Xiaomi, which ranks as the third-largest smartphone maker globally, has ties with the Chinese military. The blacklist forced American investors to give up their interests in the company.
Under President Donald Trump, the United States started a hard line against Asian companies for national security reasons. Smartphone maker Huawei and chip manufacturer SMIC were also blacklisted. As a result, American companies could no longer supply them with technology, provided they had a license for it.
The large Chinese oil company CNOOC was also blacklisted. This was due to the South China Sea conflict, where many other countries besides China claim parts of the sea. CNOOC is drilling in that area, which the Americans say amounted to “reckless and bellicose behaviour”.