Commerce Restricts Exports to Chip Giant SMIC

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Chinese chip maker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), which reportedly supplies Qualcomm, Broadcom, and others, has been put on the Department of Commerce's Entities List, meaning U.S. manufacturers are presumptively barred from selling to the company.

It Joins other prominent Chinese tech giants including Huawei and ZTE on that list of companies non grata.

The Department of Commerce announced the move early Friday (Dec. 18) after Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross confirmed it on Fox Business, according to Bloomberg.

Also Read: Commerce Expands Huawei Restrictions

According to Commerce, that decision "limits SMIC’s ability to acquire certain U.S. technology by requiring U.S. exporters to apply for a license to sell to the company. Items uniquely required to produce semiconductors at advanced technology nodes—10 nanometers or below—will be subject to a presumption of denial to prevent such key enabling technology from supporting China’s military-civil fusion efforts."

“We will not allow advanced U.S. technology to help build the military of an increasingly belligerent adversary. Between SMIC’s relationships of concern with the military industrial complex, China’s aggressive application of military civil fusion mandates and state-directed subsidies, SMIC perfectly illustrates the risks of China’s leverage of U.S. technology to support its military modernization,” said Ross in a statement supplied to Multichannel News

Also Read: ZTE Says Denial Order Is Unfair

Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security uses the list to restrict the export, re-export or transport inside the country of U.S. tech to companies or persons "reasonably believed to be involved, or to pose a significant risk of becoming involved, in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States."

There had been reports dating back several weeks that SMIC was headed for restrictions based on its connection to the Chinese military industrial complex.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.