Chinese printer firm sues US agency, demanding implementation of Xinjiang-related entity list be rescinded
Published: Aug 23, 2023 11:03 PM
China US

China US

Chinese printer producer Ninestar Corp filed a lawsuit against a US agency on Tuesday (US time) over a Xinjiang-related entity list and demanded the implementation of the list be rescinded, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

According to the company's website, Ninestar is the world's fourth-largest laser printer manufacturer.

Ninestar Corp and eight Zhuhai-based subsidiaries were placed on the Uygur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) Entity List by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), effective June 12.

"DHS added Ninestar and certain of its subsidiaries to the UFLPA Entity List without offering any explanation or justification whatsoever for said action. Ninestar has not identified any basis for the designation," Ninestar said in the statement.

As a result, "the company is suffering irreparable harm to its business and reputation based on the listing," it said.

Therefore, apart from the lawsuit, Ninestar is "pursuing an injunction against the DHS action to halt the ongoing financial and reputational harm to the company," as such "agency action, findings and conclusions" were "arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law."

It is unclear whether more Chinese companies will follow suit, as the appeals process in the US judicial system is long and costly, Gao Lingyun, an expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

If an organization or industry association gets involved, there may be more enterprise appeals, said Gao.

The lawsuit was filed ahead of US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo's visit to China, which is scheduled from Sunday to August 30, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced on Tuesday.

On Monday, the US Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security announced that it will lift 27 Chinese entities from the "Unverified List," which analysts said was a positive sign for the bilateral relationship.

"Communication must be better than isolation. There is a positive signal: Both sides have showed some goodwill for this visit," Gao said.

Raimondo will be the fourth senior US official to visit China since June, following Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Envoy for Climate John Kerry.

However, analysts stressed that any major breakthroughs are unlikely unless the US shows sincerity.

They urged the US to take concrete actions to remove more companies from the so-called entity list and cancel the additional tariffs imposed on China, so as to make efforts for the detente of China-US diplomatic, economic and trade relations.

"The key and difficult point is still the hegemonic thinking of the US, under which the US has made unreasonable accusations against China and oppressed China," said Gao.

In February, despite China's strong opposition, the BIS added 33 Chinese enterprises to the "Unverified List," which was a prelude to crude sanctions against China under false pretenses, Chen Jia, an independent analyst on global strategy, told the Global Times.

Chen said that he does not agree with the more optimistic judgment of some experts on the short-term trend of China-US relations, as Raimondo's upcoming visit and the "Unverified List" lifting are just positive signals.

"In the context of slower than expected growth in the real economy and lingering tightening effects of interest rate hikes, strengthening economic and trade cooperation with China is the most direct and effective way for the US to achieve economic growth goals in the short term," said Chen.