The Biden administration on Thursday added Chinese memory chip maker YMTC and 21 “major” Chinese players in the AI chip industry to a trade blacklist, expanding its crackdown on the sector in China.
YMTC, which has been under the guns of the US government for a long time, was added to the list due to concerns it could leak US technology to previously blacklisted Chinese tech giants like Huawei and Hikvision. The move, listed on the Federal Register, will prevent YMTC’s suppliers from supplying it with American components without a hard-to-find license.
The 21 Chinese AI chip makers added to the blacklist, which includes Cambricon Technologies Corp and CETC, will face tougher penalties as the US government effectively blocks their access to technology built anywhere in the world using US equipment.
The move builds on the wide-ranging export controls imposed by Beijing in October to slow its technological and military progress, including measures to limit China’s access to US chip-making tools and isolate it from some chips produced anywhere in the world on US equipment.
It also comes as Congress prepares to finalize legislation to prevent the US government from buying products containing semiconductors made by YMTC, CXMT and China’s largest chip maker SMIC.