Xiaomi proof that we're a military company, says Chinese tech slinger as it sues US over ban

Smartphone-slinger wants off America's naughty list, now and forever


Chinese consumer tech company Xiaomi has sued the United States for designating it a "Communist Chinese military company" and banning transactions with the firm.

In a stock market announcement [PDF] and filing [PDF] in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Xiaomi argues that the decision to name it a military company is incorrect.

The company's argument is that its products are aimed at consumers and are "solely for civilian and commercial use". The filing also points out that the USA's definition of a "Chinese Communist military company" requires such entities to be "owned or controlled by, or affiliated with, the People's Liberation Army or a ministry of the government of the People's Republic of China or that is owned or controlled by an entity affiliated with the defense industrial base of the People's Republic of China."

Xiaomi asserts that it is "not owned or controlled by, or otherwise affiliated with the Chinese government or military, or owned or controlled by any entity affiliated with the Chinese defense industrial base."

"Nor does the Chinese government or military, or any entity affiliated with the defense industrial base, possess the ability to exert control over the management or affairs of the company," the filing states.

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The filing also points out that Xiaomi has acquired over $16bn of goods from US companies in recent years, with Qualcomm to the fore. The chipmaker has even invested in Xiaomi, as have US-based institutional investors.

Xiaomi argues that being on the list will cause "imminent, severe, and irreparable harm" by making it hard to access capital, scaring off suppliers and scaring off potential employees. Which would be sad seeing as the company currently makes pretty decent handsets.

The company therefore wants to be crossed off the US's list of Communist Chinese military companies, ASAP and forever.

US authorities appear not to have commented on Xiaomi's suit at the time of writing. ®

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