The new Entity List inclusions are reportedly due, in part, to use of products in China’s military pursuits.
Seven Chinese supercomputing firms were added to the list of entities restricted from buying U.S.-made technologies without a waiver, the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security confirmed Thursday.
BIS pointed to the production of systems that do not align with American national security or foreign policy interests as reasoning for the new Entity List inclusions.
“Specifically, these entities are involved in activities that support China’s military actors, its destabilizing military modernization efforts, and/or its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs,” officials wrote in a final rule set to be published in the federal register Friday. In it, they also noted this comes “on the basis of their procurement of U.S.-origin items for activities contrary” to American aims.
The now-banned firms are: Tianjin Phytium Information Technology, Shanghai High-Performance Integrated Circuit Design Center, Sunway Microelectronics, the National Supercomputing Center Jinan, the National Supercomputing Center Shenzhen, the National Supercomputing Center Wuxi, and the National Supercomputing Center Zhengzhou. They’ll join a range of others placed on the list in recent years, for implications in human rights abuses and spying concerns.
U.S. government licenses must now be obtained before business can unfold between those and American companies.
“Supercomputing capabilities are vital for the development of many—perhaps almost all—modern weapons and national security systems, such as nuclear weapons and hypersonic weapons,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said in a statement. “The [department] will use the full extent of its authorities to prevent China from leveraging U.S. technologies to support these destabilizing military modernization efforts.”
A day before these additions were unveiled, Raimondo said at a press briefing that President Joe Biden’s administration is “in the thick of” reviewing its policy on China—with officials “working aggressively as [they] can.”
All seven firms, according to The Washington Post, are linked to China’s intent to build a next-generation exascale supercomputer. But the restrictions against these supercomputing entities don’t go as far as previous ones against Huawei Technologies Co., Bloomberg reported.