The Biden administration intends to put more than 30 Chinese companies on a list that would regulate their access to advanced tech for military purposes, pushing the two nations further toward separation and conflict in technology.
The Commerce Department will add the companies to its export control as soon as this week, according to Bloomberg. This list will prevent the companies from acquiring specific American components that could be used to develop advanced Chinese tech. The list includes Yangtze Memory, a Chinese semiconductor manufacturer. The decision arrives as the United States attempts to decrease reliance on Chinese manufacturers and boost U.S.-built semiconductor components.
Companies listed on the Commerce Department’s export control list cannot buy certain kinds of tech from U.S. suppliers without special export licenses. This designation has notably affected other Chinese companies, such as telecommunication provider Huawei.
China immediately swung back at the United States over the expected blacklist. The United States has “politicized and weaponized economic cooperation,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a Beijing press conference on Wednesday. China would take steps to protect its companies’ rights, Wenbin added, although he did not elaborate on how.
The plans to add Chinese companies to the Commerce Department’s blacklist arrived days after China filed a trade dispute with the World Trade Organization to challenge the U.S.’s export control list from October. The U.S. is also considering cutting off China from access to the hardware required to produce quantum computing and artificial intelligence. Analysts predict that the Biden administration’s decision to restrict access to select technologies makes an armed conflict between the two countries increasingly likely.