In a first, EU mulling slapping sanctions on China’s companies for aiding Russia – report
Photo via Ursula von der Leyen / Twitter

The European Union’s new package of sanctions against Moscow might target Chinese companies helping Russia’s war efforts, the Financial Times reported.

For in-depth analysis and longer stories, follow us on LinkedIn

The Chinese companies on the EU list are accused of selling equipment that could be used in weapons, with two of them, 3HC Semiconductors and King-Pai Technology, already been placed under sanctions by the US.

3HC, which makes computer chips, has been accused by the US of "attempting to evade export controls and acquiring or attempting to acquire US-origin items in support of Russia’s military and/or defence industrial base".

King-Pai provides microelectronics to Russia that "have defence applications that include cruise missile guidance systems", the US Treasury has previously said.

Two companies based in Hong Kong that are on the EU list, seen by the Financial Times, are already on the US Treasury list: Sinno Electronics and Sigma Technology. 

The sanctions proposal from the European Commission states that electronic components play the "key enabling role … for use by Russia’s military and industrial complex for supporting the war of aggression against Ukraine".

Brussels has until now avoided targeting China, arguing that no evidence showed it was directly providing weapons to Moscow, the FT notes, adding that any new restrictions will have to be approved by all 27 member states.

Earlier, the Financial Times reported that the EU is mulling limiting exports to countries it suspects are helping Russia circumvent sanctions.