According to the Information, the United States is considering a ban on the export of advanced equipment to Chinese chipmakers by American suppliers.
China’s technical self-sufficiency would be jeopardized by this decision.
Besides Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC), the potential ban will also affect state-owned Hua Hong Semiconductor, ChangXin Memory Technologies (CXMT), and Yangtze Memory Technologies Corp. (YMTC).
But SMIC can still buy less advanced equipment produced by U.S. companies using U.S. technologies if Washington approves.
In March, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo stated that Chinese chip companies would be easily shut down and denied access to critical U.S.-made tools and software if they disregarded U.S. export sanctions against Russia.
She specifically mentioned SMIC in her statement.
The South China Morning Post reports that Hua Hong Semiconductor, CXMT, and YMTC are not on the U.S. trade blacklist. However, the Biden administration is investigating claims that Huawei used a YMTC memory chip in its new smartphone.
According to the Financial Times, the U.S. considers this transaction a potential violation of U.S. export controls.
As reported by the Information, China has tried to build its semiconductor industry after the United States sanctioned Huawei. In addition, Beijing sees homegrown chips as essential to removing its dependency on Western technology. Therefore, the potential ban would worsen tensions between the two countries.
The South China Morning Post cited Arisa Liu, a semiconductor research fellow at the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research. She said that a direct ban is also another method aimed at excluding China from the semiconductor supply chain.