In order to protect national security, China confirmed a new law that restricts sensitive exports allowing Beijing to reciprocate against the US as tensions mount between the sides over trade and technology.
The National People’s Congress Standing Committee passed the law, which will apply to all companies in China, and will be in effect on December 1.
Export controls under the law will apply to civilian, military and nuclear products, as well as goods, technologies and services related to national security.
A list of controlled items will be published in a timely manner in conjunction with relevant departments, according to the law.
The new law allows Beijing to retaliate against the US, which in recent months has attempted to block Chinese technology firms such as telecommunications gear supplier Huawei, Bytedance’s TikTok app and Tencent’s messaging app WeChat on grounds of posing a national security threat, including the data they may possess from operating in the country.
Companies and individuals, who endanger national security by breaching the new export control law, including those outside of China, could face criminal charges. Violations of the law, such as exporting items without a permit, could result in fines of 5 million Yuan ($746,500), or up to 20 times the business value of the illegal transaction.
The new law adds to the growing uncertainty of Bytedance’s deal to sell its video app TikTok to US firm Oracle Corp. In August, China added technologies including voice recognition, text analysis and content recommendation to its list of regulated exports.
President Donald Trump had earlier ordered Bytedance to sell its US operations of TikTok to an American firm or face a block in the country. The new export control laws add to China’s growing regulatory toolkit that allows it to take action against countries such as the US.