China Law Podcast
The Unreliable Entity List, China's Trade War Retaliation - Lester Ross and Kenneth Zhou, WilmerHale
Jun 5, 2020 · 23 min
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The China-U.S. trade and tech war has heated up significantly in recent weeks as the U.S. has ramped up export controls and made moves on Hong Kong. In this episode, Lester Ross and Kenneth Zhou discuss China's “unreliable entity list,” widely considered China's main retaliatory weapon against U.S. companies. They analyze the potential legal bases for the List, the possible consequences for those companies listed, as well as lobbying efforts by American companies in both Beijing and Washington D.C.

Lester Ross is head of WilmerHale's Beijing office. He is also Chair of AmCham China’s Policy Committee as well as the Insurance Forum. Kenneth Zhou is a partner at the firm's Beijing office as well, and he is on AmCham China's Board of Governors.

The China Law Podcast is a weekly podcast exploring China’s business and financial sectors from a legal perspective, hosted by Vincent Chow. Get in touch at with any feedback and ideas for future episodes.

Episode outline

01:14 U.S. restrictions on Chinese companies through various blacklists
04:26 Potential legal bases for the List under Chinese law
07:35 Potential consequences for listed companies including formal and informal punishments
11:05 Why the tech industry is most likely to be targeted
12:48 How recent events might accelerate publication of the List
15:18 China and U.S. response to U.S. business complaints
19:20 Will U.S. companies leave China as a result?
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