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U.S. Expands Ban on Tech Sales to China

The United States has widened a ban that prevents some advanced technology from being exported to China, according to The Washington Post (subscription).

The ban: The 36 companies added to the Entity List are significantly restricted from receiving U.S. technology. All except one of the companies is located in China, while the remaining company is a Chinese-owned subsidiary in Japan.

  • Importantly, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security applied the foreign-produced direct product rule to 21 of those newly listed firms. It “bars foreign companies from selling to the Chinese entities goods that are produced with American technology or equipment.”
  • The ban includes one of the largest chipmakers in China, Yangtze Memory Technologies Co., which makes chips used both in consumer goods and for functions like artificial intelligence and cloud computing.  

The context: This move follows previous actions by the Biden administration to prevent advanced chipmaking technologies from being used by Chinese companies.

  • In October, the United States released rules designed to restrict China’s “ability to obtain advanced computing chips, develop and maintain supercomputers and manufacture advanced semiconductors,” according to a release from the BIS.  

The reasoning: The United States has said that these advanced U.S. technologies could be used by China to strengthen its military programs.

  • Some of the Chinese companies involved have also come under criticism by the Biden administration for providing technology to Chinese law enforcement agencies that have targeted ethnic Uyghurs in China and committed human rights violations.
  • Others are suspected of helping Iran to build drones and missile systems that may have been used by Russia against Ukraine.

What they’re saying: “We are building on the actions we took in October to protect U.S. national security by severely restricting … China’s ability to leverage artificial intelligence, advanced computing and other powerful, commercially available technologies for military modernization and human rights abuses,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security Alan Estevez, according to the Financial Times (subscription).

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