On March 23, 2021, data processing company Luokung Technology Corp filed an Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief in the US District Court for the District of Columbia, furthering its challenge to the US Department of Defense’s decision to list it as a Communist Chinese military company (CCMC) pursuant to Section 1237 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1999 (NDAA), with sanctions to be enforced pursuant to Executive Order 13959.
In its amended complaint, Luokung argues that the DOD acknowledged that Luokung’s name was erroneously listed and corrected it only after the Luokung lawsuit was commenced on March 4, 2021. Because the name was corrected on March 9, 2021, the US investment ban will now take effect 60 days later on May 8, 2021 and divestments must occur within 365 days of the name correction. Based on these dates, Luokung emphasized the urgency of its need for declaratory and injunctive relief, arguing that it will suffer irreparable harm because $100 million of the $190 million raised since its listing on Nasdaq comes from US citizens or businesses.
Luokung also claims in its amended complaint that its designation as a CCMC is unconstitutional because of the government’s failure to establish an administrative process to challenge additions to the CCMC list, while also asserting that NDAA rules were not followed when Luokung was added to the list due to a lack of evidence that the Secretary of Defense ever conferred with the US Attorney General, and the Directors of the CIA and FBI when making the decision as required under the statute.
Finally, Luokung also asserts that it is simply not a CCMC, suggesting that while the company is headquartered in China, it was incorporated in the British Virgin Islands and has substantial connections to the US; its Chief Technology Officer is a US citizen who works for Luokung from the US; and the company is not owned, controlled or affiliated with the Chinese government or military, adding that most of its shares are owned by company insiders or institutional investors, none of which seem be to affiliated with the Chinese military or government.