U.S. President Donald Trump's latest salvo against China threatens to derail a $1 billion coming-out party for a prominent startup backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., while curtailing the country's broader ambitions of leading artificial intelligence in the coming decade.

The U.S. placed eight Chinese technology giants on a blacklist Monday, accusing them of being implicated in human rights violations against Muslim minorities in the country's far-western region of Xinjiang.

Among those singled out for sweeping American export restrictions were SenseTime Group Ltd., the world's largest AI startup, and Megvii Technology Ltd. — two giant enterprises that Beijing is counting on to spearhead advances into a revolutionary technology, aided by billions of dollars in foreign backing.