Sunday, 21 July, 2019

US blacklists 5 Chinese groups working in supercomputing

Chinese and American computing firms China's supercomputers are the latest target in US trade war
Deanna Wagner | 23 June, 2019, 23:32

China's state broadcaster, China Radio International, said in an editorial on Saturday that the move was one of a series of recent actions by the United States that violated the consensus reached by President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Argentina last December.

Flags of USA and China are displayed at American International Chamber of Commerce (AICC)'s booth during China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing, China, May 28, 2019. Last month, Commerce last month added telecommunications giant Huawei to it, heightening tensions with Beijing. The hope is the leaders' talk will rekindle negotiations amid an ongoing trade war between the two countries.

In what looked like a goodwill gesture to Beijing, Vice President Mike Pence postponed a speech planned for Monday at a Washington think tank at which he was expected to criticise China's communist regime.

The remarks, meant to be delivered at the Wilson Center, were already delayed from its original date of June 4 - the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. China has retaliated with tariffs on US products.

Mr Trump has imposed 25 percent tariffs on US$250 billion in Chinese imports and is preparing to target another $300 billion, extending the import taxes to virtually everything China ships to the United States.

In a statement on Friday, the Commerce Department said the new entities listed were part of China's efforts to develop supercomputers.

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In March, a USA government-led group said it was working with chipmaker Intel Corp and computermaker Cray Inc to develop and build the country's fastest computer by 2021 for conducting nuclear weapons and other research.

"While Huawei gets attention, the most important sector for U.S".

In May, it added Huawei to an "entity list" of companies barred from receiving US-made components without permission from Washington, though the company was granted a 90-day reprieve. "However, the Chinese may see this as ill-timed bullying". The newly sanctioned entities are the Wuxi Jiangnan Institute of Computing Technology, Sugon of Beijing and three of its affiliates-Higon, Chengdu Haiguang Integrated Circuit, Chengdu Haiguang Microelectronics Technology. This includes Higon, which has a joint venture with AMD to build custom "Hygon" chips for the Chinese server market. The restrictions will impact sales to the firms by USA chipmakers such as Intel, AMD, and Nvidia. The new technology will be at least five times more powerful than the current leading supercomputers. "AMD will comply with the regulations governing that list, just as we have complied with USA laws to date".

President Trump added five more Chinese companies to the USA blacklist. The sales can only resume if a license has been secured from the Commerce Department. "For AMD, it is a high-margin business, but it is not material".

The US government says Chinese supercomputers are used to advance the nation's military, and that the entities are acting contrary to US national security and foreign policy interests.

Sugon is open about its work with the Chinese government. Sugon has publicly acknowledged "a variety of military end uses and end users of its high-performance computers", while Wuxi Jiangnan Institute of Computing Technology's mission is "to support China's military modernization".