The US added more than 70 Chinese institutions and companies to the list of companies with which it prohibits the export of American technology, including chipmaker SMIC and drone maker DJI.
China accused the United States on Saturday of “intimidation” after Washington announced export controls to SMIC, the largest Chinese manufacturer of computer chips, among other Chinese firms for alleged links with the Chinese military.
China’s Commerce Ministry said it “strongly opposes” the move, which will affect the country’s largest chipmaker, and vowed to “take necessary measures” to safeguard the rights of Chinese companies.
In addition, he accused the United States of “abusing export controls and other measures to continually repress” foreign entities, and urged Washington to “stop unilateralism and intimidation.”
The Commerce Department said Washington has evidence that SMIC has worked with the Chinese military on developing short- and medium-range ballistic missiles and exoskeletons for soldiers, but that it had been arguing with the Chinese company for months about a way to avoid The sanction.
It also added drone maker DJI to the list for enabling high-tech surveillance in China, what the Commerce Department called “human rights abuses.”
This move requires US companies to apply for a license before exporting their products to SMIC and specifically targets the Chinese company’s ability to procure materials to produce chips of 10 nanometers or less, the best in the industry.
The decision increases pressure on the chipmaker, which has received billions of dollars in support from Beijing and is at the center of its efforts to improve the country’s technological self-sufficiency.
This new incident takes place in the last weeks of the mandate of President Donald Trump, under whose administration relations between Washington and Beijing were strained and a trade war began, in which the United States expanded its list to a few hundred Chinese companies and subsidiaries of sanctioned entities.
Inclusion on the “Entity List” has become one of the Donald Trump Administration’s favorite tools in its trade battle against China. Currently, there are more than 300 companies, organizations, and institutions of the Asian giant in it.
In the past, the US Department of Commerce has used this list against the telecommunications company Huawei and against entities linked to alleged human rights abuses against Uyghurs in the Muslim-majority Xinjiang province.