US blacklists seven Chinese supercomputer groups

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The US has blacklisted seven Chinese groups it accuses of building supercomputers to help its military.
It is the first move by the Biden administration to make it harder for China to obtain US technology
On Thursday, three companies and four branches of China’s National Supercomputing Center were added to the US blacklist.
This bars American companies from exporting technology to the groups without proper approval.
The US commerce department said the groups were involved in building supercomputers used by Chinese “military actors” and facilitating programs to develop weapons of mass destruction.
The sanctioned groups are leading China’s supercomputing development and are key players in Beijing’s plan for chip self-sufficiency.
US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said the Biden administration would use “the full extent of its authorities to prevent China from leveraging US technologies to support these destabilizing military modernization efforts”.
The Trump administration had also targeted dozens of Chinese companies suspected of using American technology for military uses, including phone maker Huawei.
Mr Biden’s move on Thursday requires the seven Chinese groups to obtain licenses to access American technologies, including chip infrastructures designed by Intel and other U.S chipmakers.
While the blacklist bars US-based companies from providing services and products to Chinese firms, it doesn’t bar those that are produced in facilities outside of the US.
One such company is TSMC, the Taiwan-based company that has become the world’s most advanced semiconductor manufacturer.