The United States has imposed export restrictions on China’s largest chip manufacturer, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), stating that there is an “unacceptable risk” of using the equipment it supplies to manufacture military products.
Companies supplying SMIC with certain equipment will now be required to apply for individual export licenses. This was stated in a letter from the Ministry of Commerce, which was available to Reuters.
SMIC stated that it has not received official notification of restrictions and has no ties with the Chinese military:
“SMIC reiterates that it manufactures semiconductors and provides services exclusively for civil and commercial end users and applications,” the manufacturer said.
“SMIC has no relationship with the Chinese military and does not manufacture products for military end users or applications,” he assured.
The restriction described is not as severe as blacklisting applied to Huawei. Earlier this month, it was reported that the Pentagon and other U.S. agencies are considering blacklisting SMIC.