SUNDAY TIMES WEB DESK: The move, which does not single out any countries or companies, comes amid US-China tensions that have sharply escalated since Washington put Huawei on a blacklist that effectively bans US firms from doing business with the Chinese telecoms equipment giant.

The “unreliable entities list” will apply to those who flout market rules and the spirit of contracts, block supplies to Chinese companies for non-commercial reasons and “seriously harm the legitimate rights and interests” of Chinese companies, the report said, citing ministry spokesman Gao Feng.

The ministry will disclose more details of the list soon, the report said.

The Trump administration has issued orders to curtail Huawei’s access to American components it needs for its equipment — though a 90-day reprieve was issued.

Chinese state media suggested this week that Beijing could hit back by stopping exports of rare earths to the United States, cutting off key materials used to make everything from smartphones to televisions and military equipment.

Chinese mines accounted for 71 percent of the world’s rare earths production in 2018, according to the US Geological Survey, down from 80 percent in 2017 and 95 percent a decade ago.

Cutting off exports to the US could give Beijing leverage in trade talks as China supplies 80 percent of the rare earths imported by the United States.