US set to impose more trade restrictions on Chinese AI and supercomputer companies

The White House is poised to unveil rules that would further restrict access to advanced computing technology in China that could be used by its military The New York Times. The new measures, which may be announced this week, are reportedly aimed at reducing Beijing’s ability to manufacture advanced weapons and surveillance systems.

The new rules would build on restrictions preventing companies from selling US-developed technology to smartphone maker Huawei, first introduced by the Trump administration in 2019. President Biden is expected to apply such restrictions to more Chinese firms, government research labs and other facilities. Insiders said so NYT. Companies around the world would then be banned from selling US-made technology to the target organizations.

Last month, Reuters reported that the White House may seek to curb sales of advanced US-made tools to the Chinese semiconductor industry. It could also limit the export of American microchips to advanced Chinese supercomputing and data centers. The measures could affect not only the government, but also academic institutions and Internet companies such as Alibaba and Tencent.

While the US has the strongest performance in the Top500 supercomputers list, China leads in the number of systems. The new US restrictions, if enacted, would be the biggest effort to combat China’s ability to build supercomputers and data centers.

While most supercomputing applications are benign, some have malicious purposes such as weapon development or surveillance. In one case, a supercomputer built with Intel and NVIDIA chips was used to monitor the country’s Uyghur minority. Last month, NVIDIA announced in an SEC filing that the US government would restrict sales of computer chips used in supercomputers and AI to both Russia and China.

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