WASHINGTON, Dec 10 (Reuters) – The United States on Friday imposed human rights-related sanctions tied to China, Myanmar, North Korea and Bangladesh and added Chinese artificial intelligence startup SenseTime Group to an economic blacklist.
Canada and the United Kingdom also joined the United States in imposing sanctions related to human rights abuse in Myanmar.
The U.S. Treasury Department in a statement said it added Chinese artificial intelligence company SenseTime to a list of “Chinese military-industrial complex companies”, accusing it of having developed facial recognition programs that can determine a target’s ethnicity, with a particular focus on identifying ethnic Uyghurs.
As a result it will fall under an investment ban for U.S. investors.
U.N. experts and rights groups estimate more than a million people, mainly Uyghurs and members of other Muslim minorities, have been detained in recent years in a vast system of camps in China’s far-west region of Xinjiang.
Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis, Simon Lewis, David Brunnstrom, Matt Spetalnick, and Tim Ahmann Editing by Alistair Bell