The US added 36 Chinese firms to its Entity List trade blacklist on Thursday, including China’s top storage chipmaker YMTC, effectively cutting them off from US technologies. Most of the entities added are involved in AI chip research and development, manufacturing, and sales. In addition, 25 Chinese firms were audited and removed from the US’s Unverified List. The notice from the US Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) claimed that the entities added to the blacklist acquired or attempted to acquire “U.S.-origin items in support of China’s military modernization,” activity it considers “contrary to the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States.” In addition to YMTC and its Japanese subsidiary, Chinese chipmaking tools vendor Shanghai Micro Electronics Equipment was also added to the blacklist. “Today we are building on the actions we took in October to protect US national security by severely restricting the PRC’s ability to leverage artificial intelligence, advanced computing, and other powerful, commercially available technologies for military modernization and human rights abuses,” Alan Estevez, the US Commerce Department’s industry and security undersecretary, said in a statement on Thursday. Chinese authorities responded on Friday, saying that the US’s frequent adding of Chinese firms to its Entity List disrupted normal trade between the two countries and broke market rules. Chinese trade officials said the country will undertake take necessary measures to guard the legal rights of local firms and institutions in response to the US’s move. [BIS]