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FirstFT: US to blacklist eight more Chinese companies

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The Biden administration will place eight Chinese companies including DJI, the world’s largest commercial drone manufacturer, on an investment blacklist for their alleged involvement in the surveillance of the Uyghur Muslim minority.

The US Treasury will put DJI and the other groups on its “Chinese military-industrial complex companies” blacklist on Thursday, according to two people briefed on the move. US investors are barred from taking financial stakes in the 60 Chinese groups already on the blacklist.

The measure marks the latest effort by US president Joe Biden to punish China for its repression of Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities in the north-western Xinjiang region. Here are the rest of the companies included on the black list.

Do you agree with the Biden administration’s move? Why or why not? Tell me what you think at firstft@ft.com. Thanks for reading FirstFT Asia. Here’s the rest of today’s news — Emily

1. Fed officials expect three rate rises next year The more hawkish interest rate forecasts were published alongside a plan to double the pace at which the Federal Reserve withdraws or “tapers” the massive bond-buying programme it put in place at the start of the pandemic. It will in January begin cutting purchases by $30bn a month as it aims to tame inflation.

Animated dot plots showing Fed projections over time

2. SEC proposes greater transparency for Archegos swaps US markets regulators have proposed rules to inject more transparency into the derivatives that blew up hedge fund Archegos Capital, which would compel investors to disclose swaps positions that have allowed them to build up unseen holdings in public companies.

3. Iran allows IAEA cameras into key nuclear facility Iran has agreed to allow the UN’s atomic watchdog to reinstall cameras at one of its key nuclear facilities in a move that will ease tensions with the International Atomic Energy Agency as Tehran holds talks with world powers over the future of its 2015 accord.

4. Lithuania pulls diplomats from China As Beijing retaliates against the Baltic nation’s efforts to strengthen ties with Taiwan, Lithuania has pulled its remaining diplomats out of China over concerns for their safety. The fallout threatens a dilemma for the EU.

5. Kaisa offshore investors in talks to buy group’s distressed loans International investors in Kaisa are in talks to buy up to $1bn of the Chinese property developer’s distressed loans from mainland banks, in a push to gain information about its opaque restructuring process as the sector reels from the collapse of Evergrande.

Coronavirus digest

  • Two doses of the Chinese-made Sinovac vaccine provide “insufficient” antibodies against the Omicron variant, according to researchers in Hong Kong.

  • Data showed that Pfizer’s and Moderna’s booster jabs offer protection against Omicron, a top US health official said. “At this point, there is no need for a variant-specific booster,” said Anthony Facui.

  • The UK has recorded its highest number of daily coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, as more than 78,000 people tested positive in a single day.

  • The world will face a shortfall of 3bn vaccine shots early next year if richer nations “aggressively” boost adults and offer immunisation to children, the World Health Organization warned.

The day ahead

Interest rate decisions It’s a big day for interest rate decisions. Economists expect the UK’s Bank of England to keep the interest rate at 0.1 per cent when it meets today. Policymakers at the European Central Bank as well as the Swiss National Bank are also set to announce decisions.

Rivian earnings The electric vehicle start-up that surged on its Nasdaq debut last month is set to report third-quarter earnings.

European Council summit The Brussels meeting will be the first attended by Germany’s new chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Thanks to readers who took our poll yesterday. Eighty-six per cent of respondents said inflation has caused goods to become more expensive where they live.

What else we’re reading

FT Person of the Year: Elon Musk Despite facing an army of doubters in the traditional auto industry and on Wall Street, the controversial Tesla chief executive has triggered a historic shift towards electric vehicles. That is why the FT is naming Musk its Person of the Year. Editor Roula Khalaf explains more in a letter to readers.

Musk is staking a claim to be the most genuinely innovative entrepreneur of his generation
Musk is staking a claim to be the most genuinely innovative entrepreneur of his generation © AFP via Getty Images

Putin and Xi discuss closer co-operation Russia sought to portray Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping’s call this week, the 37th meeting between them since 2013, as a show of support at a time when both countries’ relationships with the west are deteriorating to lows not seen since the cold war more than three decades ago.

Kathryn Murdoch has a plan (and $100m) to fix US politics It’s been more than 20 years since she married into the family known for its media empire. Her family has profited from partisanship. Now she’s using the gains to try to rehabilitate the centre. (And no she said hasn’t watched HBO’s Succession.)

‘Green defectors’ ditch high-flying careers A growing number of executives are quitting blue-chip jobs to work on tackling climate change. Those who have switched acknowledge they are fortunate to have the financial security to allow them to quit their jobs. To those who would like to follow suit, but fear the consequences, many say the shift is ultimately worth it.

The tennis players struggling to break even Tennis champions Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka are among the best paid athletes in the world. But lower ranked players often struggle to make a living. For this video, the FT followed two players fighting to get to the top and get paid.

Music

Musician Nile Rodgers wants you to play his guitars. The co-founder of disco group Chic, whose hits include “Le Freak” and “Good Times”, is putting dozens of electric and acoustic guitars from his personal collection up for auction at Christie’s in New York this week in the hope that they find a new life.

Nile Rodgers
© Getty Images

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