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US set to impose sweeping export controls to rein in Chinese chipmakers

The US is preparing to introduce sweeping export controls in an effort to slow Chinese efforts to obtain semiconductors and chipmaking equipment for supercomputers and other military-related applications.

According to several people familiar with the situation, the commerce department is poised to announce restrictions that would essentially bar US companies from selling cutting-edge technology to Chinese groups and would severely limit the ability of non-US companies to sell products that use US technology to customers in China.

The controls are the latest effort to prevent China from using American technology to develop military programmes from quantum computing to hypersonic weapons. The US is trying to prevent Chinese companies from providing American technology to the People’s Liberation Army through Beijing’s “civil-military fusion” plan.

The restrictions are being tailored to make it harder for Chinese chip manufacturers — including Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation, Yangtze Memory Technologies Co, and ChangXin Memory Technologies — to close the big technological gap with rivals in the US, Europe and elsewhere in Asia.

The Financial Times reported earlier this year that YMTC appeared to be supplying Huawei, the telecoms equipment company, with chips in violation of US export controls.

Source: Financial Times