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US Commerce Department Places China’s Largest Chip Maker, SMIC, On Entity List

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China’s largest chipmaker, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) has been added to the entity list by The US Commerce Department.


The department took this decision after it determined there’s an ‘unacceptable risk’ that equipment SMIC received could also be used for military purposes according to Reuters.


This move means that US computer chip companies cannot export technology to SMIC without an export license. SMIC follows the footsteps of Huawei into the entity list.  The Trump administration had added phone manufacturer, Huawei, to the list in 2019.


The Wall Street Journal reports that the Commerce Department wrote in a letter to the computer chip industry that; exporting products to SMIC would “pose an unacceptable risk of diversion to a military end use in the People’s Republic of China.

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SMIC told Reuters in a statement that it makes semiconductors and provides services “solely for commercial end-users and end-uses”. It also said it has “no relationship with the Chinese military and does not manufacture for any military end-users or end-uses.”


The administration tightened export rules on shipping goods to China in April 2020. Its reason was to keep US companies from selling products that could be used in strengthening the Chinese military.


In August 2020, the US blacklisted 24 Chinese companies. It also targeted people it says are part of construction and military actions in the South China Sea. The department says it is “constantly monitoring and assessing any potential threats to U.S. national security and foreign policy interests”.


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