US tightens chip export controls to China

The United States announced on Friday new export controls to restrict China's ability to buy and manufacture high-end chips with military applications, heightening tensions among countries.

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The move complicates Beijing’s efforts to develop its own semiconductor industry and develop advanced military systems and is just days away from a big party convention in China, where President Xi Jinping is expected to secure a historic third term.

The rules, announced by the US Department of Commerce, include export restrictions on certain microchips used in supercomputing, and more stringent requirements on the sale of semiconductor equipment.

The goal is to prevent the acquisition of ‘sensitive technologies with military applications by the Chinese military, intelligence and security services, said Alan Estevez, head of the Commerce Department.

The production and export of semiconductors have been the subject of competition between the two countries, which are fighting for technological dominance.

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In August, U.S. President Joe Biden signed a multi-billion dollar bill to boost domestic semiconductors and other high-tech manufacturing sectors that U.S. officials fear will be dominated by China.

Tens of billions of additional dollars were spent on scientific research and development.

China has invested resources in developing supercomputer capabilities and is looking to become a global leader in artificial intelligence by 2030, said another head of the Commerce Department, Thea Kendler.

China has invested resources in supercomputer capacity development and is looking to become a world leader in artificial intelligence by 2030, said another head of the trade department, Thea Kendler.

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