Chinese tech firm Hesai plans to sue Pentagon over ‘military-related’ allegation
Published: Feb 08, 2024 08:32 PM
The Pentagon seen from an airplane over Washington DC. Photo: Xinhua

The Pentagon seen from an airplane over Washington DC. Photo: Xinhua

Chinese technology firm Hesai Technology said that the Pentagon's recent claim linking the company's business to the military is unfair and groundless. The company is planning to sue the US government department to protect its reputation, the company said on its official website on Wednesday.

Chinese experts said that the responsive move from the Chinese company is very rational, given the actions from the US side, which are lack of transparency and fairness and may tarnish the reputations of corresponding Chinese companies in the international market, and the companies should fight back.

Hesai announced on Wednesday in a public statement that they consider the decision made by the US Department of Defense on January 31 to include Hesai on its updated list of "Chinese military-related companies" to be "erroneous, unjust, and lacking in basis."

In order to uphold the company's reputation, Hesai has decided to sue the US Department of Defense to defend its legitimate rights and interests, the company stated.

On January 31, the US added more than a dozen Chinese companies to a list compiled by the country's Department of Defense, including major Chinese chip producer Yangtze Memory Technologies Co, AI company Megvii, and Hesai. These additions were claimed to be "related to the Chinese military."

This action is part of the US efforts to expand its technology blockade targeting China, according to media reports.

The US department said in its latest statement that they will continue to update the list with additional entities as appropriate.

As a global lidar producer, Hesai's lidar products cover a broad spectrum of applications, including passenger and commercial vehicles with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, autonomous driving vehicles, and robotic applications, among others, according to the company's website.

Hesai said on Wednesday that they have always adhered to compliance, integrity, and lawful operation principles, while committed to minimizing accidents, saving lives, and making global travel safer.

In a previous statement, the Chinese company already expressed their disappointment over the US decision, calling it "unjust, capricious and meritless."

"Hesai lidars are for civilian use only. We do not sell our products to any military in any country, nor do we have ties of any kind to any military in any country," the company noted.

The Pentagon's announcement coincided with a fresh round of measures by the US government targeting Chinese companies.

The reaction of Chinese companies over the matter is quite normal, as the US is keen to make its judgment without sufficient factual basis, lacking necessary transparency, and being unfair when it comes to China, Zhou Mi, a senior research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, told the Global Times on Thursday.

The entity lists could result in a noticeable impact on normal business operations of the corresponding Chinese companies in the US and could even affect their global reputation, said Zhou.

Therefore, it is necessary for Chinese companies to resort to legal means to protect their own interests, which is also their right, the expert said.

China's Foreign Ministry slammed a move by the US Defense Department to add a dozen Chinese companies to a blacklist on the excuse of prohibiting American technologies from aiding the Chinese military.

China firmly opposes the US overstretching the concept of misusing national security, setting up all kinds of discriminatory lists, going after Chinese companies and disrupting normal economic and trade cooperation between China and the US, the ministry's spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at the regular press conference on February 1.

We urge the US to immediately correct these discriminatory practices and provide a fair, just and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese companies, Wang said, noting that China will continue to firmly safeguard the lawful and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies.

Global Times