Commerce blacklists seven Chinese supercomputing groups

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The Commerce Department on Thursday blacklisted seven Chinese supercomputing groups, adding the companies to its “entity list” as potential national security threats. 

The agency in its announcement said that the groups were involved in building supercomputers for Chinese military activities, “destabilizing” modernization efforts and the nation’s weapons of mass destruction programs. 

The groups added to the entity list Thursday were Tianjin Phytium Information Technology, Shanghai High-Performance Integrated Circuit Design Center, Sunway Microelectronics, the National Supercomputing Center Jinan, the National Supercomputing Center Shenzhen, the National Supercomputing Center Wuxi and the National Supercomputing Center Zhengzhou. 

“Supercomputing capabilities are vital for the development of many – perhaps almost all – modern weapons and national security systems, such as nuclear weapons and hypersonic weapons,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said in a statement Thursday. “The Department of Commerce will use the full extent of its authorities to prevent China from leveraging U.S. technologies to support these destabilizing military modernization efforts.”

The action by the Commerce Department came the day after Raimondo detailed her plans to be firm against Chinese tech groups such as telecom giant Huawei and social media app TikTok, owned by Chinese group ByteDance. 

“We have to level the playing field, no one can outcompete the American worker if the playing field is level,” Raimondo told reporters during the daily White House press briefing. 

“The fact is China’s actions are uncompetitive, coercive, underhanded, they have proven they will do whatever it takes, and so I plan to use all the tools in my toolbox as aggressively as possible to protect American workers and businesses from unfair Chinese practices,” she said. 

Huawei was among the Chinese groups placed on the entity list as part of the Trump administration’s efforts to push back against China. Others included China’s largest chip manufacturer SMIC, Chinese drone company DJI and telecom group ZTE.

Tags China Commerce Department Entities List Gina Raimondo Supercomputer

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