SMIC, China’s largest chipmaker, is being sanctioned to make it more challenging to do business in the United States. According to the US, the company has links with the Chinese military.
SMIC is placed on the ‘entity list’ by the United States. The sanction means that companies wishing to cooperate with SMIC must apply for an export license from the Ministry of Commerce. That writes Reuters.
In practice, this resources that there will be a severe barrier to trading with the chipmaker because such an export license is complicated to obtain.
The chip manufacturer itself says in a statement that it is not yet aware of the sanctions. The company also denies any ties to the military, saying its chips are made for consumers, not military purposes.
SMIC is the chief chip maker in China and makes, among other things, the HiSilicon chips from Huawei. That tech giant has also been on the ‘entity list’ for a while, so it cannot turn to Intel or AMD for its chips.
It is not clear what the consequences of the sanctions will be for SMIC. The manufacturer seems to use American software and devices to keep its production going.