Biden Administration Escalates Pressure on Chinese Chipmaker Over Huawei Links

The Biden administration has increased sanctions against SMIC, China's largest sanctioned chipmaker, over Huawei links.
The Biden administration has increased sanctions against SMIC, China's largest sanctioned chipmaker, over Huawei links.

In a significant move, the Biden administration has intensified measures against China’s leading sanctioned chipmaker, SMIC (Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp), following revelations of its involvement in producing sophisticated chips for Huawei’s Mate 60 Pro phone. 

This action underscores escalating tensions between the U.S. and China regarding technology and national security.

Suspension of Imports to SMIC’s Advanced Factory:

In late 2023, the Commerce Department issued letters to numerous U.S. suppliers to SMIC, suspending permission for sales to its most advanced plant, SMIC South. 

This move effectively halted millions of dollars worth of chipmaking materials and parts shipments to SMIC, including those from Entegris, a major supplier in the semiconductor industry.

Response from Entegris and Regulatory Compliance:

Entegris, based in Massachusetts, confirmed it halted shipments to SMIC South after receiving Commerce Department letters suspending export permissions despite initially operating within the bounds of a valid export license. 

The company emphasized its commitment to complying with evolving international trade regulations impacting the chip industry, clarifying that it had not violated any U.S. laws or regulations.

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Chinese Embassy’s Criticism and Allegations of Economic Bullying:

The Chinese embassy in Washington denounced the Commerce Department’s actions as “economic bullying,” urging the U.S. to refrain from abusing state power to suppress Chinese companies. 

The suspension of export licenses to SMIC South is considered part of the U.S.’s broader effort to hinder China’s technological advancement and safeguard national security interests.

Impact on U.S.-China Relations and Congressional Response:

The Biden administration’s decision to curtail exports to SMIC South reflects growing bipartisan concern over China’s technological capabilities and its ties to entities like Huawei. 

Republican lawmakers, including Congressman Michael McCaul, have criticized the Commerce Department for perceived delays in taking action against SMIC, highlighting concerns about national security implications.

Review of Huawei’s Technological Advancements:

Huawei’s launch of the Mate 60 Pro, powered by an advanced chip, has drawn scrutiny from U.S. authorities, prompting a comprehensive review of the semiconductor’s specifications and implications for national security. 

This development underscores broader efforts to monitor and restrict the flow of U.S. technology to entities associated with China’s strategic interests.

James Adam

James Adam, a noted business writer for CEO Times Magazine, specializes in insightful industry analysis and executive profiles. Known for his clear, concise style, James offers readers an expert perspective on global business trends and market dynamics.

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