There will be no U.S. sanctions against Chinese companies and other entities as punishment for “economic cyberattacks” imposed ahead of a planned U.S. visit next week by President Xi Jinping.
Reuters reported on Tuesday (Sept. 15) that an unnamed U.S. official and another person “briefed on the White House’s thinking” confirmed that sanctions would not be levied. The key reason, according to those sources, is not tied to fully formed consensus on how to address the cyberattacks. Rather, the U.S. wants to avoid casting a pall over the visit, which begins on Sept. 24 and will feature a black tie state dinner at the White House.
Citing The Washington Post, Reuters noted that the two nations have in fact reached some agreement on cyber issues, though sanctions are still a possibility. Those sanctions would be focused on foreign citizens and also foreign firms that have been identified as being responsible for cyberattacks on U.S. commercial outfits. And should sanctions eventually materialize, they would be an outgrowth of an executive order signed by President Barack Obama specifically aimed at hackers allegedly targeting U.S. data and computer systems.
Yet, two unnamed sources noted by Reuters stated that sanctions have at best mixed support from the same large U.S. enterprises that would indeed benefit from those sanctions. That’s due at least partly to the fact that it would become tougher for those same firms to do business in China or with partners already in the mix who may wind up becoming targets of those sanctions.
[bctt tweet=”Sanctions against China for cyberattacks have at best mixed support from large U.S. companies.”]
The Chinese marketplace will indeed be a topic of discussion, Reuters said, as expansion into that market will be the focus of a Seattle meeting between Xi and tech industry leaders, among them executives from Apple and Microsoft.