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Trade war

US adds China's biggest nuclear company to 'entity list'

China General Nuclear Power and affiliates to be barred access to US technology

Washington, which wielded its entity list against Huawei Technologies back in May, has now added China's largest state-owned nuclear company to the list of companies that are banned from receiving American technology.   © Reuters

WASHINGTON/BEIJING -- The U.S. will add China General Nuclear Power Group, the country's biggest state-owned nuclear company, to its "entity list," the Department of Commerce said Tuesday.

With the change, American companies will be barred from selling products to China General Nuclear Power. The Commerce Department says the company diverts U.S. technology to military use.

The U.S. government in October 2018 announced restrictions on the export of civil nuclear technology to China. The latest decision will cut off CGN's access to U.S. technology.

Beijing has named nuclear technology a priority under its "Made in China 2025" initiative that aims to transform the country into a high-tech powerhouse. Washington is responding to the initiative by tightening restrictions on Chinese tech companies through embargoes and other measures.

On Wednesday CGN and three affiliates will be added to the entity list, which comprises companies that Washington believes pose a security risk. Companies on the list are required to obtain approval from Commerce Department when shipping materials and technology from the U.S. But in practice, such approvals are rarely granted.

Nuclear power plants being built by CGN include some that the Chinese company says it has "independently developed," based on technology from U.S. nuclear plant builder Westinghouse Electric. The move by the Commerce Department could hamper Beijing's nuclear expansion plans, as CGN is China's biggest company in the industry.

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