China’s top semiconductor equipment maker Naura Technology Group has told its American employees in China to stop taking part in component and machinery development to comply with Washington’s restrictions on the involvement of US citizens in key facilities on the mainland, according to a source briefed on the decision, Che Pan reported for the South China Morning Post (SCMP).
Photo Insert: Naura Technology Group removed the chip on its shoulder.
In an internal notice, the Beijing-based company asked its American engineers to stop working on research and development projects with immediate effect, the source said.
The notice was issued after the US Bureau of Industry and Security regulation restricted the “ability of US persons to support the development or production” of chips at certain China-located semiconductor fabrication facilities without a license.
The latest restriction on US citizens’ involvement in chip development in China is part of a sweeping regulation launched by Washington, which includes strict and extensive export controls, to slow down China’s semiconductor industry.
US chip equipment suppliers are pulling out their US staff from Chinese facilities, including the country’s top memory chip maker Yangtze Memory Technologies, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources.
Naura said earlier this week in a stock market filing that its subsidiary, Beijing Naura Magnetoelectric Technology, was on the unverified list of the US Department of Commerce. Naura downplayed the US action by stating that its subsidiary accounted for only 0.5 percent of its total annual revenue. Its share price has lost 20 percent this week.
Washington’s decision to cover US persons, or individuals, in trade sanctions against China marked an escalation from previous measures, which covered only goods and technologies, and it is sending shock waves across China’s semiconductor industry where many entrepreneurs, senior executives, and scientists are US citizens.
A review of C-suite profiles published by listed Chinese chip companies found that many heavyweights in China’s semiconductor industry have US citizenship – most of them naturalized citizens who were born in China but studied at American universities or worked in the US chip industry.