US blacklists Chinese chipmaker SMIC

The company is among dozens of firms targeted by the Commerce Department on Friday

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) is seen at China International Semiconductor Expo (IC China 2020)  in Shanghai, China October 14, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo
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The US Commerce Department said it is blacklisting Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp along with more than 60 other Chinese companies “to protect US national security”.

“This action stems from China’s military-civil fusion doctrine and evidence of activities between SMIC and entities of concern in the Chinese military industrial complex,” the Commerce Department said in a statement on Friday.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross confirmed the move in a Friday morning interview with Fox Business.

Other affected Chinese entities include those “that enable human rights abuses, entities that supported the militarisation and unlawful maritime claims in the South China Sea, entities that acquired US-origin items in support of the People’s Liberation Army’s programmes, and entities and persons that engaged in the theft of US trade secrets”, the Commerce Department said.

The majority of the newly banned companies are Chinese and will join the likes of Huawei Technologies on a list that denies them access to US technology from software to circuitry.

Companies including Huawei and SMIC have been caught in the middle of worsening tensions between the world’s two largest economies, which have clashed on issues from trade to the pandemic.

President Donald Trump had been widely expected to level more sanctions against China’s national champions before president-elect Joe Biden takes office on January 20.

The US placed SMIC on an export restrictions list in September, accusing Shanghai-based company of supplying the Chinese military.