The announcement came three weeks after the Hong Kong Stock Exchange gave the go-ahead to SenseTime’s IPO. On December 10, the U.S. Department of Treasury added the firm to a list of “Chinese military-industrial complex Companies,” saying it “has developed facial recognition programs that can determine a target’s ethnicity, with a particular focus on identifying ethnic Uyghurs.”
The military blacklist bars U.S. investors from purchasing or selling publicly traded securities of SenseTime.
In response to the U.S. government’s decision, SenseTime is postponing its IPO and will publish a supplementary prospectus with a new listing timetable to “safeguard the interests” of its potential investors.
“We strongly oppose the designation and accusations that have been made in connection with it,” SenseTime said in a statement. “The accusations are unfounded and reflect a fundamental misperception of our company. We regret to have been caught in the middle of geopolitical tension.”
In 2019, SenseTime was placed on the U.S. Entity List that blocked it from doing business with American companies.
For an overview of SenseTime’s business, go to our earlier post: