Huawei and SMIC Crafted Cutting-Edge Chips Using US Tech, Reveals Bloomberg

Huawei and SMIC Crafted Cutting-Edge Chips Using US Tech, Reveals Bloomberg

In a surprising turn of events, Bloomberg News has disclosed that Chinese tech giants Huawei Technologies and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) collaborated to manufacture an advanced chip in China in 2023, utilizing U.S. technology.

This revelation unveils the complexities of international technological partnerships and the geopolitical implications surrounding the semiconductor industry.

To understand the context, both Huawei and SMIC found themselves on the trade restrictions list in 2019 and 2020, respectively, over allegations of sanctions violations and ties to the Chinese military-industrial complex.

Despite being added to the list, the U.S. took a gradual approach to restrict their access to advanced American technology, with the ban on sales to China officially commencing in October 2022.

According to Bloomberg’s report, SMIC employed technology from California-based companies Applied Materials Inc and Lam Research Corp to develop an advanced 7-nanometer chip for Huawei in 2023. Crucially, SMIC acquired the American machinery before the ban was enforced, showcasing the strategic timing of the collaboration.

As news of this collaboration broke, the White House Commerce Department, Huawei, Applied Materials, Lam Research, and SMIC refrained from immediate comments. Both Huawei and SMIC have consistently denied any wrongdoing, maintaining their innocence regarding sanctions violations and military ties.

Huawei and SMIC Crafted Cutting-Edge Chips Using US Tech, Reveals Bloomberg

Recent developments reported by Reuters indicate that the U.S. government took decisive action against SMIC, cutting off its most advanced factory from further American imports. This move followed SMIC’s production of a chip for Huawei, specifically powering the Mate 60 Pro phone.

The Biden administration’s aggressive stance in recent months aims to halt shipments of advanced AI chips to China, part of broader efforts to prevent Beijing from acquiring cutting-edge U.S. technologies with potential military applications.

The collaboration between Chinese companies and U.S. technology providers raises questions about the efficacy of trade restrictions and the challenges of monitoring international technological transfers.

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The intricate dance between economic interests, national security concerns, and global technological dependencies underscores the complexities faced by governments in regulating the semiconductor industry.

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