SHANGHAI (CHINA) – Xiaomi Corp has filed a complaint against the US Defense and Treasury Departments in a Washington district court on Friday, to reverse the removal the Chinese company from an official list of companies with ties to China’s military.
Xiaomi and eight other companies were added to the list by the Defense Department, under the Trump administration in mid-January, which requires American investors to divest their holdings in the firms by a set deadline.
In the complaint, addressed to Biden-appointed Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Xiaomi called the judgment “unlawful and unconstitutional” and said the company was not controlled by the People’s Liberation army.
It added that the investment restrictions, which go into effect on March 15, 2020, would cause “immediate and irreparable harm to Xiaomi.”
Xiaomi said 75% of the company’s voting rights, under a weighted structure, were held by co-founders Lin Bin and Lei Jun, with no ownership or control from an individual or entity affiliated with the military.
It added that a “substantial number” of its shareholders were US citizens, and noted three of its top-ten holders of ordinary shares were US institutional investment groups.
“The company’s strategic relationships with U.S. financial institutions – critical for Xiaomi to continue to access the capital it needs to continue to grow in a highly competitive market – will be significantly damaged,” the complaint stated.
“Moreover, the public association of Xiaomi with the Chinese military will significantly impair the company’s standing with business partners and consumers, causing reputational harms that cannot be readily quantified or easily repaired.”