U.S. Adds 36 New Chinese Chipmakers to Its Trade Blacklist

The Biden administration on Thursday expanded its crackdown on China’s semiconductor industry by adding the Chinese memory chipmaker YMTC and 21 “major” Chinese players in the artificial intelligence chip sector to a trade blacklist.

Long a target of U.S. government scrutiny, YMTC was added to the list out of concern that it might sell advanced technology to Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and Hikvision. The action, detailed in the Federal Register, will prevent YMTC’s suppliers from sending it U.S. goods without a complicated license.

The 21 Chinese AI chip firms placed on the trade blacklist, including Cambricon Technologies Corp and CETC, face a harsher penalty, with the US government effectively banning their access to technology created elsewhere in the world using US equipment.

“U.S. national security interests require that we act decisively to deny access to advanced technologies,” Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration Thea Kendler said in a statement as the Chinese government strives to reduce barriers between its military and civilian sectors.

China’s access to U.S. chipmaking tools and some chips created elsewhere in the world with American equipment will be restricted, building on the broad export restrictions placed on Beijing in October to slow China’s scientific and military progress.