In 2022, Biden’s Restrictions on Chinese Chips are part of a Broader Effort
- Tech News
- September 2, 2022
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Biden’s Restrictions on Chinese Chips
Washington: Chip maker Nvidia Corp said this week that the United States has asked it to restrict exports to China of two computing chips used in artificial intelligence work, in the government’s latest move to block China’s access to more advanced semiconductors.
The Commerce Department’s announcement in August that it would restrict exports of materials and software used to make next-generation chips, along with other measures that Reuters recently reported are under consideration, will make it difficult for China’s semiconductor industry to compete globally.
US notifications to chip makers could cripple Chinese companies’ ability to do advanced work such as image recognition and hamper Nvidia’s business in the country.
While the Commerce Department spokesperson did not elaborate on the messages in a statement, they suggested it was part of a broader effort to target China: “While we are unable to identify specific policy changes at this time, we are taking a comprehensive approach to implementing additional measures related to technology, end-use, and end-users to protect the national security of the United States and foreign policy interests.”
As in the past, the agency said it wanted to prevent China from acquiring technology that could be used to “advance military modernization efforts.”
Meanwhile, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said the agency is “following strategies such as ‘close collaboration’ and ‘friend sharing’ so that like-minded partners are integrated into our supply chain… … as we rebuild our supply chain, We cannot rely on foreign countries with different values than ours for our biochip components.”
In a move interpreted as targeting China, the department in August imposed new export controls on technologies that support the production of advanced semiconductors and gas turbine engines, which the United States says are essential to its national security.
These controls include ECAD, a software tool used to verify integrated circuits or printed circuit boards that “can develop many commercial and military applications, including defense and communications satellites,” the department said at the time.
Soon after, Biden signed a bill to enhance US competition with Chinese technology efforts by supporting US chip manufacturing and expanding research funding. The law aims to “reduce the dependence of sophisticated and mature microelectronics on fragile or overly concentrated foreign production”.
Four people familiar with the matter told Reuters that the United States is also considering restricting shipments of US chip-making equipment to memory chip makers in China, including Yangtze Memory Technologies Co Ltd (YMTC), as part of preventing the development of China’s semiconductor industry.
If approved, the campaign will include
Ban shipments of US chipmaking equipment to factories in China that make advanced NAND chips.
Under Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, tensions between the United States and China over technology have deepened and persist. Reuters reported in July that the Biden administration was also considering restricting exports to China of tools for making advanced logic chips, in an effort to curb SMIC, China’s largest chip maker.
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