China said on Saturday it had officially implemented a mechanism enabling it to restrict foreign entities, a much-anticipated move seen as retaliation to US penalties against Chinese companies such as Huawei.
An announcement by the Ministry of Commerce did not mention any specific foreign entities, but broadly spelled out the factors that could trigger punitive measures, which may include fines, restriction of business activities and investment in China, and the entry of personnel or equipment into the country.
The ministry said the list will help "safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests, maintain a fair and free international economic and trade order, and protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises, other organizations or individuals."
Authorities will set up a working mechanism and an office to help implement work related to the list, it added.
China will prohibit foreign firms listed as unreliable entities from engaging in import, export and investment in China, the ministry said.
Foreign firms could be removed from the list if they correct their behaviours and takes steps to eliminate the consequences of their actions, it said.