US blacklists China firms, institute tied to military-linked supercomputing

Among those added to the blacklist was Advanced Micro Devices' Chinese joint-venture partner Higon, the US Commerce Department said in the statement.
Among those added to the blacklist was Advanced Micro Devices' Chinese joint-venture partner Higon, the US Commerce Department said in the statement.PHOTO: ADVANCED MICRO DEVICES

Commerce Department move to put the 5 on national security 'entity list' is latest effort to restrict Chinese access to US tech amid trade war

WASHINGTON • The United States Commerce Department said it was adding several Chinese companies and a government-owned institute involved in supercomputing with military applications to its national security "entity list" that bars them from buying US parts and components without government approval.

The export restriction announcement last Friday adding the five to what is effectively a trade blacklist is the latest effort by the Trump administration to restrict the ability of Chinese firms to gain access to US technology amid an ongoing trade war.

The department said it was adding Sugon, the Wuxi Jiangnan Institute of Computing Technology, Higon, Chengdu Haiguang Integrated Circuit and Chengdu Haiguang Microelectronics Technology - along with numerous aliases of the five entities - to the list over concerns about military applications of the supercomputers they are developing.

Wuxi Jiangnan Institute of Computing Technology is owned by the 56th Research Institute of the General Staff of the People's Liberation Army of China, the Commerce Department said, adding that "its mission is to support China's military modernisation".

The Chinese embassy in Washington did not immediately return a request for comment.

State broadcaster China Radio International said in an editorial yesterday that the move was one of a series of recent actions by the US that violated the consensus reached by US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Mr Xi Jinping, in Argentina last December.

The department said it was adding Sugon, the Wuxi Jiangnan Institute of Computing Technology, Higon, Chengdu Haiguang Integrated Circuit and Chengdu Haiguang Microelectronics Technology - along with numerous aliases of the five entities - to the list over concerns about military applications of the supercomputers they are developing.

"No matter whether it is aimed at suppressing Chinese technology or its long-term economic development, or put pressure on China in the trade negotiations, the United States will not achieve its aims," it said.

In 2015, the Commerce Department added China's National University of Defence Technology (NUDT) to the list "because of its use of US-origin multicores, boards and (co)processors to power supercomputers believed to support nuclear explosive simulation and military simulation activities".

The Commerce Department said last Friday that since 2015, NUDT has procured items under the name Hunan Guofang Kei University using four separate, additional addresses not already on the entity list. The department said it is now adding Hunan Guofang and the four addresses to the list.

The companies "pose a significant risk of being or becoming involved in activities contrary to the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States", the Commerce Department said.

Last month, the Trump administration added to the entity list China's Huawei Technologies and 68 affiliates in more than two dozen countries.

Mr Trump has said that the US could resolve complaints about Huawei as part of a trade deal.

REUTERS

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 23, 2019, with the headline 'US blacklists China firms, institute tied to military-linked supercomputing'. Print Edition | Subscribe