The US Defense Department has determined that 20 top Chinese firms, including Huawei, are either owned by or backed by the Chinese military.
The list, seen by US media, features video surveillance firm Hikvision, China Telecoms, China Mobile and AVIC.
The determination could lay the groundwork for new US financial sanctions against the firms.
It comes as the US has pressured other countries, including the UK, to bar Huawei for national security reasons.
Under US law, the Defense Department is required to track firms "owned or controlled" by China's People's Liberation Army that are active in the US.
Will this review determine specific sectors of the US economy that the Chinese are targeting for espionage and forced technology-transfer efforts?
The White House already taken several steps against Huawei and other Chinese firms, including barring US companies from selling them certain technology without permission. »