Xiaomi Wins Court docket Ruling Halting U.S. Funding Ban

A federal choose has blocked enforcement of the U.S. funding ban on Xiaomi Corp. 1810 4.12% , calling the choice to blacklist the Chinese language know-how big “deeply flawed.”

Ordering a brief halt to the ban in a choice late Friday, Choose Rudolph Contreras solid doubt on the Pentagon’s resolution in January to designate Xiaomi as an organization with hyperlinks to the Chinese language army. Choose Contreras mentioned the U.S. didn’t convincingly present such hyperlinks in prior filings with the court docket.

“Xiaomi is a publicly traded firm that produces industrial merchandise for civilian use, is managed by its impartial board and controlling shareholders, and isn’t successfully managed or related to others below the possession or management of the PRC or its safety providers,” the choose mentioned within the opinion, utilizing the abbreviation for the Folks’s Republic of China.

Xiaomi mentioned it was happy with the choose’s ruling and mentioned it will search everlasting elimination of the funding ban. The Pentagon didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

The choice marks a victory for Xiaomi following its addition, within the waning days of the Trump administration, to the U.S. Protection Division’s record of firms it believed was linked to China’s army. The choice blocked People from investing within the firm, the world’s third-largest vendor of smartphones.

The designation took many firm observers unexpectedly, given the corporate’s heavy give attention to client electronics. The corporate, which denies any army hyperlinks, filed a lawsuit within the U.S. District Court docket in Washington, D.C., looking for to overturn the designation.

The Protection Division later justified its resolution citing an award given to its founder, Lei Jun, in 2019 for his service to the Chinese language state, in addition to the corporate’s formidable funding plans in 5G and synthetic intelligence.

However the U.S. court docket’s resolution on Friday referred to as that rationale poor, noting that greater than 500 entrepreneurs have acquired an analogous award. It additionally mentioned that 5G and A.I. “are rapidly changing into business commonplace for client electronics units” and funding within the applied sciences didn’t essentially recommend a army hyperlink.

Whereas the ruling solely grants Xiaomi a reprieve, Choose Contreras mentioned the Protection Division’s resolution had brought about Xiaomi irreparable hurt and mentioned the corporate was prone to prevail in successful a full reversal of the funding ban. Xiaomi shares have fallen sharply within the wake of its blacklisting, and it was set to be faraway from main exchanges and inventory market indexes.

The choice is one other courtroom setback within the Trump administration’s marketing campaign in opposition to China’s know-how sector. Final 12 months, two federal judges issued non permanent halts to a ban on U.S. downloads of the Chinese language social-media app TikTok, saying the U.S. overstepped its authority.

Different Chinese language firms have pursued authorized fights within the U.S. in response to Trump administration actions with much less success. For instance, a U.S. choose threw out a lawsuit by telecom big Huawei Applied sciences Co. final 12 months that sought to overturn a U.S. ban on its merchandise. Huawei continues to be pursuing authorized motion within the U.S.

Write to Dan Strumpf at daniel.strumpf@wsj.com

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Appeared within the March 13, 2021, print version as ‘Choose Blocks Ban on Investing in Xiaomi.’

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