China passes new tech export law

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China has passed a new law restricting sensitive exports to protect national security, a move that adds to policy tools it could wield against the US as tensions – especially in technology – continue to rise.

The law, which China’s top legislature passed on Saturday, comes into effect on December 1 and allows Beijing to “take reciprocal measures” against countries that abuse export controls and pose a threat to national security.

Technical data related to items covered will also be subject to export controls, according to the published text of the law.

Beijing’s latest measure gives it more room to hit back in US President Donald Trump’s war on Chinese tech firms, with the White House moving against popular platforms and major companies – including apps TikTok and WeChat, tech giant Huawei and chipmaker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp.

The new law, “formulated to safeguard national security and interests”, adds to China’s regulatory toolkit which also involves a restriction catalogue of tech exports and an unreliable entity list.

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