Xiaomi to be removed from US trade blacklist

The tech giant was placed on the CCMC list in January 2021 as one of the last policies enacted by president Donald Trump

The US Department of Defense has agreed to remove Chinese tech giant Xiaomi from the “Communist Chinese Military Companies” (CCMC) blacklist introduced during the Trump administration.

The company, which last year overtook Apple as the world’s third-largest phone manufacturer, had previously filed a lawsuit against the US government, describing its decision to classify Xiaomi as a Chinese military-backed enterprise as "unlawful and unconstitutional".

The tech giant was placed on the list in January 2021 as one of the last policies enacted by president Donald Trump prior to his departure from office. The classification meant that Xiaomi was unable to secure US investment, causing the tech giant’s share prices to suffer a drop of almost 20% since the ban.

Throughout the dispute, Xiaomi maintained that it had no links, especially ownership-related, to the Chinese military. In fact, three of its most prominent shareholders were US investment groups.

The enforcement of the blacklisting was temporarily blocked in March, with US District Judge Rudolph Contreras describing the US government’s process behind the ban as “deeply flawed”. The federal judge wrote at the time that the US Defense Department’s move was “arbitrary and capricious” and deprived the company of its due process rights. He also noted Xiaomi was likely to suffer “irreparable harm” without the injunction.

A new court filing seen by Reuters states that Xiaomi and the US government have come to an agreement to resolve their ongoing litigation without further contest. Both parties are expected to file another joint proposal on 20 May, bringing the legal dispute to an end.

The news comes weeks after Xiaomi unveiled the Mi 11 Ultra, a dual-screen smartphone that boasts the largest smartphone camera sensor currently available on the market. Introduced as the company’s new premium flagship, the arrival of the Mi 11 Ultra sees the tech giant venture into a higher price point than its usual budget offerings.

The Mi 11 Ultra is likely the most expensive smartphone offering from the company to date, after the Mi MIX Alpha at £2,265.

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