U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo is threatening to “shut down” major Chinese chipmakers like SMIC from accessing critical US manufacturing tools if they violate the sanctions imposed on Russia and Belarus.
After Russia invaded Ukraine, the US, the EU and several key allies sanctioned it heavily, prohibiting the sales of semiconductors to Russia.
On Tuesday, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo directly named China as a possible way for Russia to circumvent the sanctions placed on importing chipsets.
Before the invasion, Russia bought most of their chipsets from China but also sourced from Samsung and German company Infineon. Russia and China also had strengthened their trade ties in recent years, so the warning is dire.
Essentially, if China circumvents this ban, Chinese chipmakers could end up like Huawei, who was totally isolated from the US market and lost billions in revenue.
“They have their own self-interest to not supply this stuff to Russia. So they’re not doing it out of the goodness of their heart. It would be devastating to China’s ability to produce these chips,” Raimondo said to the Times.
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