US Blacklists More Chinese Tech Companies, Escalating Trade Fight

The US government is blacklisting Yangtze Memory Technologies Co., Shanghai Micro Electronics Equipment Group Co. and dozens of other Chinese tech companies, ratcheting up a trade conflict between the world’s two largest economies.

The Department of Commerce is placing the companies on the so-called entity list, meaning that anyone seeking to supply them with US technology will require a license from Washington — something that will likely be difficult to get. Bloomberg News previously reported that the US was preparing to add the companies to the list.

The lineup also includes Pengxinwei IC Manufacturing Co., better known as PXW. The fledgling chip business is run by a former Huawei Technologies Co. executive and is constructing facilities close to that company’s headquarters, according to public records and satellite photos. Huawei — a company already under strict US sanctions — was expected to buy most, if not all, of the output from that chip factory, Bloomberg reported in October.

The latest restrictions are part of a push to limit China’s access to advanced chipmaking and artificial intelligence technology, which the US wants to keep away from the Asian nation’s military. In October, the Biden administration unveiled sweeping measures that limit what US companies can sell to the country — and it’s been pushing for allies to go along with the plan.

The idea is to severely restrict China’s “ability to leverage artificial intelligence, advanced computing, and other powerful, commercially available technologies for military modernization and human rights abuses,” Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security Alan Estevez said in a statement. “This work will continue, as will our efforts to detect and disrupt Russia’s efforts to obtain necessary items and technologies for its brutal war against Ukraine, including from Iran.”