China passes new law restricting sensitive exports

BEIJING (AP) — China has passed a new law restricting sensitive exports to protect national security, allowing Beijing to reciprocate against the U.S. as tensions mount between the sides over trade and technology.

The law, which will apply to all companies in China, was passed Saturday by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee and will take effect on Dec. 1.

Under the law, China can take “reciprocal measures” toward countries or regions that abuse export controls and threaten its national security and interests.

Export controls under the law will apply to civilian, military and nuclear products, as well as goods, technologies and services related to national security. A list of controlled items will be published “in a timely manner” in conjunction with relevant departments, according to the law.

The new law allows Beijing to retaliate against the U.S., which in recent months has attempted to block Chinese technology firms such as telecommunications gear supplier Huawei, Bytedance’s TikTok app and Tencent’s messaging app WeChat on grounds of posing a national security threat, including the data they may possess from operating in the country.

Companies and individuals who endanger national security by breaching the new export control law, including those outside of China, could face criminal charges. Violations of the law, such as exporting items without a permit, could result in fines of 5 million yuan ($746,500), or up to 20 times the business value of the illegal transaction.

The new law adds to the growing uncertainty of Bytedance’s deal to sell its video app TikTok to U.S. firm Oracle Corp. In August, China added technologies including voice recognition, text analysis and content recommendation to its list of regulated exports.

President Donald Trump had earlier ordered Bytedance to sell its U.S. operations of TikTok to an American firm or face a block in the country.

The new export control laws adds to China’s growing regulatory toolkit that allows it to take action against countries such as the U.S.

7 Gun Stocks to Buy During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Socially conscious investors may want to stop reading. But the fact is that gun stocks were some of the best-performing stocks at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. And they continue their positive momentum.

Some of that may be historical. Firearms sales tend to increase during an election year. But of course, this has not started out as a normal election year.

In March, the nation was gripped by pictures of long lines outside gun stores in several U.S. states. The website Ammo.com reported that bullet sales increased by 222% in the period from February 23 through March 15 as opposed to the first three weeks in February.

And according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), there was a 73% year-over-year increase in background checks in February.

“The world has never seen anything like this and people want to make sure they’re prepared for whatever lies ahead, whether that be food shortages, government shutdown, or worse,” a spokesperson for Ammo.com said in an emailed statement. “When everything around you is uncertain, having a supply of ammunition can make our customers feel safer.”

Given the likelihood of increased firearms sales, we’ve created this presentation that highlights seven gun stocks that you should consider for your portfolio.

View the “7 Gun Stocks to Buy During the Coronavirus Pandemic”.

Stockmarkets and cryptocurrency quotes, Stockmarkets Insights