Caixin
Nov 25, 2021 07:50 PM
BUSINESS

Chipmakers, Quantum Firms Targeted in Latest U.S. Sanction Round

What’s new: The U.S. government added a dozen Chinese firms to a commerce department blacklist on Wednesday — including eight from the quantum computing and semiconductor sectors — alleging they were a threat to its national security or foreign policy interests.

Three quantum computing firms — Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at Microscale, QuantumCTek Co. and Shanghai QuantumCTeck Co. Ltd. — were placed on the “entity list” for allegedly “acquiring and attempting to acquire U.S.-origin items in support of military applications,” according to the new list of 27 entities released by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Hangzhou Zhongke Microelectronics Co. Ltd., Hunan Goke Microelectronics, New H3C Semiconductor Technologies Co. Ltd., Xi’an Aerospace Huaxun Technology, and Yunchip Microelectronics were blacklisted due to their alleged involvement in China’s military modernization.

Three other Chinese firms were added based on their alleged “contributions to Pakistan’s unsafeguarded nuclear activities,” alongside 13 other entities — including two individuals — based in Pakistan.

The final Chinese firm listed was an affiliate of Corad Technology Ltd., which was blacklisted in August 2019, according to the register. Affiliates in Singapore and Japan were also listed.

The background: Eight Chinese firms were listed to prevent U.S. technologies from being used for China’s quantum computing efforts, according to the Commerce Department in a press release.

Such technologies could aid the Chinese military in developing counter-stealth and counter-submarine applications, as well as the ability to break encryption or develop “unbreakable encryption”, the department said.

Being on the “entity list” effectively deprives the firms from obtaining U.S. materials and equipment such as semiconductors, thus slowing China’s progress in the field.

Last month, the National Counterintelligence and Security Center launched a campaign to warn U.S. companies in the artificial intelligence, bioeconomy, autonomous systems, quantum and semiconductor sectors on “nation-state threats,” notably posed by China and Russia.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use.

Contact reporter Kelsey Cheng (kelseycheng@caixin.com) and editor Flynn Murphy (flynnmurphy@caixin.com)

Download our app to receive breaking news alerts and read the news on the go.

Get our weekly free Must-Read newsletter.

Share this article
Open WeChat and scan the QR code