U.S. blacklists six Chinese companies involved with spy balloon

The entities will now be prevented from purchasing U.S. products or technologies unless they first apply to the government for permission.

The Department of Commerce announced that it blacklisted six Chinese entities after finding that they had links to Beijing's surveillance balloon program.

The department explained in a statement that it was able to identify five Chinese companies and a research institute that supported Chinese military programs that run counter to U.S. security interests.

Now the entities have been placed on an "Entity List" that will prevent them from purchasing products and technologies from U.S. companies unless they first apply for government permission.

"The Commerce Department will not hesitate to continue to use the Entity List and our other regulatory and enforcement tools to protect U.S. national security and sovereignty," reported Deputy Commerce Secretary Don Graves.

According to a New York Times report, the blacklisted entities are: Beijing Nanjiang Aerospace Technology Company, Dongguan Lingkong Remote Sensing Technology Company, Eagles Men Aviation Science and Technology Group Company, Guangzhou Tian-Hai-Xiang Aviation Technology Company, Shanxi Eagles Men Aviation Science and Technology Group Company, and the 48th Research Institute of China Electronics Technology Group Corporation.

Graves described the Entity List as a "powerful tool for identifying and cutting off actors that seek to use their access to global markets to do harm and threaten American national security."

While it is still unclear exactly how closely the six companies were linked to U.S. exporters or how much the entities' operations will be affected by the sanctions imposed, this is one of the first responses the government is taking following the discovery of the Chinese spy balloon.