China has criticized the United States for adding 33 Chinese companies to its trade ban, a move that may prompt Beijing to strike back as frictions between the two economic giants worsen. 

The US Commerce department on Saturday broadened its Entities List, which limits access to American technologies and other products, to include 24 Chinese entities and universities that the department stated had links with the military.

The US Entity List prevents Chinese firms from acquiring US-manufactured technology on grounds of national security. Some of the big name entities include Skyeye Laser Technology, Cloud robot and services start-up Cloudminds, and online security giant Qihoo 360 Technology Co.

Qihoo 360 disclosed that was firmly against the irresponsible allegations of the US, and lambasted the US Commerce department for tainting technological research and business activities with politics.

In a statement issued by Qihoo 360 on Saturday, as reported by the South China Morning Post, it said that sanctions made by the US Commerce department is an "attempt to weaken China's cybersecurity defense capabilities."

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said they are urging the US to correct the errors that it has committed and stop meddling in the country's internal affairs. "China will continue to take the necessary steps to protect the legitimate rights and interests of its enterprises and safeguard national security and development interests," Zhao disclosed, as reported by Red Herring.

In recent months, the China-US ties have deteriorated significantly, in part because the US has been among the most ravaged nations by the coronavirus pandemic that first emerged in Wuhan, China. The two largest economies in the globe have collided over a host of issues, ranging from finance, 5G networks, artificial intelligence and trade.

In the stock market, shares in Asia China and Hong Kong settled slightly higher late Monday, with the China CSI climbing 0.1 percent and the Shanghai Composite Index soaring 0.3 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index ended 0.1 percent up, although the index was down nearly 7 percent for the month, FactSet reported.

Some of the companies affected issued their own statements to show their disappointment on the blacklistings. A representative of Guangzhou-headquartered startup CloudWalk on Sunday said the US move is unfair and has used national tools to disrupt market policies.

The US blacklisting, which follows moves in other nations against the inclusion of Huawei telecommunications, has further escalated the situation. China's foreign minister Wang Yi on Sunday warned that such blacklisting would push the two sides on the brink of a new cold war.