A US federal judge has blocked the US Department of Defense from restricting Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi in the country. The restrictions are to take effect from next week.
The US Department had Xiaomi as a “Chinese Communist military company,” (CCMC) before President Trump left office. This makes it subject to Trump’s executive order banning the US from investing in such companies.
US District Judge Rudolph Contreras had issued a preliminary injunction to prevent what he called “irreparable harm” to Xiaomi, saying the designation was “arbitrary and capricious”.
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Xiaomi in its court filings said it would suffer “extreme and irreversible damage” to its business and reputation. The company also maintained it operates “in compliance with the relevant laws and regulations of jurisdictions where it conducts its businesses”.
A company spokesperson said in January that Xiaomi “is not owned, controlled or affiliated with the Chinese military. He also said that the Xiaomi not a ‘Communist Chinese Military Company”.
Contreras said that the Trump administration’s argument that “civilian Chinese companies” like Xiaomi allow the Chinese government to “directly threaten the United States homeland,” was questionable.
“The court is somewhat skeptical that weighty national security interests are actually implicated here,” the Contreras wrote.
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