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US to Curb More Tech Exports to Keep Chips From China Military, Sources

Published: October 3, 2022
A woman uses her mobile phone to take photos of soldiers at Tiananmen Square after the flag-raising ceremony on China's National Day in Beijing on Oct. 1, 2022. (Image: NOEL CELIS/AFP via Getty Images)

The United States is expected to announce this week new measures restricting Chinese companies from gaining access to technologies enabling high-performance computing, three people briefed on the matter told Reuters.

The measures would aim to cut off China’s access to advanced semiconductor technology, the people said. The New York Times was first to report the new restrictions could come as soon as this week, adding that Washington also plans to limit U.S.-made microchips from being sold to China’s most powerful super computing and data center projects.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment and the Commerce Department declined comment.

Reuters reported last month the Biden administration planned in October to broaden curbs on U.S. shipments to China of semiconductors used for artificial intelligence and chip making tools.

The rules are part of a stepped up U.S. effort to control technology that could support China’s military. As national security advisor Jake Sullivan said last month in a speech that touched on China and Russia, technology export controls “can be a new strategic asset in the U.S. and allied toolkit to impose costs on adversaries, and even over time degrade their battlefield capabilities.”

With technologies like advanced logic and memory chips, Sullivan said, “we must maintain as large of a lead as possible,” he added.

Reuters reported in August that the United States was considering limiting shipments of chip making equipment to memory chip makers in China including Yangtze Memory Technologies Co Ltd (YMTC).

By Reuters (Reporting By Karen Freifeld, David Shepardson and Alexandra Alper; Additional Reporting by Paul Grant and Kanishka Singh; Editing by Mark Porter and Josie Kao)