TRUMP MULLS BLACKLISTING CHINA CHIPMAKER SMIC
The Trump administration is considering whether to add China’s top chipmaker SMIC to a trade blacklist, a Defense Department official said on Friday (Saturday, September 5, 2020 in Manila), as the United States escalates its crackdown on Chinese companies, Idrees Ali, Alexandra Alper and Karen Freifeld reported for Reuters.
A Pentagon spokeswoman said the Defense Department was working with other agencies to determine whether to make the move against Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC), which would force US suppliers to seek a difficult-to-obtain license before shipping to the company. SMIC and the Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Earlier this week, the Pentagon made a proposal to place SMIC on the entity list to the End User Committee, a panel led by the Commerce Department that also includes the State and Energy Departments and makes decisions about entity listings, a person familiar with the matter said. It was not clear whether the other agencies supported the plan. The Trump administration has often used the entity list - which now includes more than 275 China-based firms - to hit key Chinese industries, from telecoms equipment giants Huawei Technologies and over sanction violations, to surveillance camera maker Hikvision over suppression of China’s Uighur minority.
SMIC is the largest Chinese chip manufacturer but is second-tier to rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd., the industry’s market leader. It has sought to build out foundries for the manufacture of computer chips that can compete with TSMC.