The US didn’t waste much time blocking sales to China’s largest chipmaker. According to Reuters and the Wall Street Journal, the Commerce Department has added Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) to its entity list, effectively blocking interactions between US suppliers and the Chinese firm. The American companies will need to obtain individual export licenses to do business with SMIC, and those are expected to be rare.
The Commerce Department instituted the de facto trade ban over claims SMIC technology could be used for Chinese military purposes. A US defense contractor, SOS International, claimed SMIC had worked with both one of China’s largest defense firms and that university researchers linked to the military were designing projects based on SMIC technology.