US Imposes Curbs on Exports by China’s Top Chipmaker SMIC

By John Xie |

VOA FILE – A computer chip is being viewed through a microscope at the 21st China Beijing International High-Tech Expo, in Beijing, China, May 17, 2018. U.S. export restrictions are now targeting Chinese chipmaker SMIC. (Photo: AP)

The U.S. government has placed new export restrictions on China’s most advanced maker of computer chips, citing an “unacceptable risk” that equipment sold to the country’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC) could be used for military purposes.

According to a letter Friday by the Commerce Department, American suppliers of certain technology products to SMIC will need to apply for individual licenses before they can export to the Chinese company.

The U.S. has cut off China’s telecom giant Huawei from essential supplies of semiconductors since September 15. As the requirement takes effect, SMIC becomes the second leading Chinese technology company to face U.S. trade sanctions.

When asked for comment, the Chinese chipmaker told Reuters it had not received any official notice of the restrictions from Washington and said it had no ties with the Chinese military.

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