Washington: The United States administration on Thursday put Chinese memory chipmaker YMTC and 21 other major Chinese players in the artificial intelligence chip-manufacturing industry on a trade blacklist, broadening its crackdown on China’s chip-making industry.
YMTC, has been on the radar of the US government for a long time. It was added to the trade blacklist over fears that it could divert US technology to previously blacklisted Chinese tech giants Huawei and Hikvision. The move, laid out in the Federal Register, will bar YMTC’s suppliers from shipping American goods to it without a difficult-to-obtain license.
The 21 Chinese AI chip firms added to the trade blacklist, which include Cambricon Technologies Corp and CETC, face an even tougher penalty, with the US government effectively blocking their access to technology made anywhere in the world with American equipment.
With the Chinese government seeking to remove barriers between its military and civilian sectors, “US national security interests require that we act decisively to deny access to advanced technologies,” Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration Thea Kendler said in a statement on Thursday.
YMTC, Cambricon, CETC and the Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to the recent move by the US administration.
The move adds to the sweeping export controls imposed on Beijing in October to slowdown China’s technological and military advances, including measures to curb the Asian giant’s access to US chip making tools and cut it off from certain chips made anywhere in the world with US equipment.
The Commerce Department on Thursday also targeted nine Chinese entities for allegedly seeking to support China’s military modernization, including Shanghai Micro Electronics Equipment Group Co Ltd (SMEE), China’s only lithography company. A total of 35 Chinese entities were added to the US trade blacklist, known as the entity list, as well as YMTC’s Japan-based subsidiary.
The Biden administration also removed Wuxi Biologics, a company that makes ingredients for AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine, and 25 other Chinese entities from the so-called unverified list thanks to successful site visits.
Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer lauded the imposition of new penalties on YMTC. “YMTC poses an immediate threat to our national security, so the Biden Administration needed to act swiftly to prevent YMTC from gaining even an inch of a military or economic advantage,” he said in a statement.
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