On May 31, 2019, China’s Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM”) announced at a press conference that the country will soon establish a new “unreliable entities list” (“UEL”).

MOFCOM explained that foreign enterprises, organizations and individuals who fail to obey market principles, depart from the spirit of contracts, or block or cease to supply Chinese enterprises for non-commercial reasons, and who seriously harm Chinese enterprises’ rights and interests, will be added to the UEL. The legal authority for the new list will be based on, among other things, China’s Foreign Trade Law, Anti-Monopoly Law and State Security Law. Implementing regulations are expected to be published in the near future.

The move is widely seen as a response to the United States’ recent decision to impose broad prohibitions on transactions relating to exports, re-exports or transfers to Chinese telecommunication giant Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. (“Huawei”) of US goods, software or technology. As a number of other jurisdictions, including Japan and the European Union, have taken or are considering imposing restrictions in some form on Huawei under their own laws, China’s introduction of UEL creates potential conflict of laws issues across multiple jurisdictions.

Please join Mayer Brown International Trade lawyers as they discuss these important developments and strategic considerations for companies subject to the laws of different jurisdictions. Topics to be covered include:

  • What is the UEL and why was it created?
  • Who is likely to be named on the UEL?
  • What are the anticipated consequences of being named on the UEL?
  • When will the UEL be determined and released?
  • What are the key conflict of laws issues that should be considered by companies with global operations?
  • How to avoid being named on the UEL and/or respond to such a designation?