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9 Oct, 2022 13:28

US takes aim at China’s chip industry

New export rules restrict selling to Beijing certain semiconductors made with US technology
US takes aim at China’s chip industry

The US published a new package of export restrictions on Friday targeting China’s semiconductor industry by further curbing the country’s access to US chip technology.

The document, published on the Department of Commerce’s website, includes a ban on exporting to China chips made with US technology and intended for use in artificial intelligence and supercomputers without an export license. The new restrictions also limit the sale of chip manufacturing equipment and technology to Chinese companies and restrict US citizens and entities from working with Chinese chip producers unless they are granted special permission.

Some of the measures will come into force this month. According to the document, the new export controls aim to “prevent sensitive technologies with military applications from being acquired by [China’s] military, intelligence, and security services.

Earlier the same day, the US also put YMTC, China's top memory chipmaker, and 30 other Chinese entities on a list of “unverified” companies, meaning that US officials cannot inspect them in order to grant export licenses. This means these firms may later be blacklisted by Washington entirely, effectively barring US companies from supplying them with any technology.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning called the new controls unfair and said they would backfire and “hurt the interests of US companies.”

“In order to maintain its sci-tech hegemony, the US has been abusing export control measures to wantonly block and hobble Chinese enterprises... It will not only harm Chinese companies’ legitimate rights and interests, but also hurt the interests of US companies. It will hinder international sci-tech exchange and trade cooperation, and deal a blow to global industrial and supply chains and world economic recovery,” the spokesman told reporters on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Taiwan, home to the world's largest contract chipmaker, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, signaled it would comply with the new US export controls aimed at China, its largest trading partner.

Taiwan's semiconductor industry has long served global customers and attaches great importance to compliance with laws… In addition to complying with domestic laws and regulations, it will also cooperate with the needs of international customers who place orders and the norms of customers in their countries,” Taiwan's Economy Ministry said in a statement in response to the US announcement, as cited by Reuters.

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