Xiaomi goes to Washington over its US Administration blacklisting
The increasingly major tech company Xiaomi has filed a complaint with a Washington, DC district court against the US Defense and Treasury Departments. This new action is a response to sanctions imposed by these arms of the American government.
They are not exact analogues of those taken against another Chinese electronics giant, Huawei: Xiaomi can still work with US-based suppliers, and is thus still able to buy important components such as the Snapdragon 888 processor for its latest flagship smartphone, the Mi 11. However, it does mean that US investors are no longer allowed to buy the company's shares, and must now divest themselves of any existing holdings with the company.
In its new legal missive, Xiaomi asserts that this is “unlawful and unconstitutional”, as its blacklisting is based on the fallacious notion that the company is controlled by China's national army. The company claims that it is in fact 75% owned by co-founders Lin Bin and Lei Jun (who is also the OEM's current CEO), and 0% owned by any individual or group with military links.
Xiaomi also now believes that its effective tarring with this brush will do "irreparable" damage to its public image and reputation, thus making it more difficult to access the capital it needs to remain competitive in its various markets. The Treasury and Defense Departments, led by Janet Yellen and Lloyd Austin respectively, have yet to respond to the company's complaint.