Biden talks with Chinese chipmakers about tougher US technology

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Biden talks with Chinese chipmakers about tougher US technology

A logo of Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation SMIC is seen at the China International Semiconductor Expo IC China 2020 after the coronaviruses disease COVID 19 outbreak in Shanghai.

Sources familiar with the Thursday meeting on the topic said that the Biden administration still hasn't decided whether to block more US technology to Chinese chipmaker SMIC or not, but raised the possibility of discussing further restrictions on selling chip-making equipment to China.

Sources said that at the meeting of U.S. agencies officials talked about a proposal to toughen sales to SMIC and other chipmakers in China. One source said that the U.S. should work with friendly countries on a more restrictive policy.

A White House spokesman wouldn't say anything.

The Trump administration placed Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp SMIC on the U.S. Department of Commerce's trade blacklist last year over concerns of SMIC aiding China's military.

The listing requires U.S. suppliers to obtain a license before shipping chipmaking equipment and other goods, which allows most sales to be decided on a case-by-case basis. Equipment that can be used to make only the most advanced, 10 nanometer and smaller chips is held to a higher standard and is likely to be denied.

The policy change that was considered would restrict sales of items that could be used for less advanced chips.

Chip equipment makers argue that if SMIC is not supplied by U.S. equipment makers, the company will buy from other countries.

Export license requests for SMIC were already slow to get approval, according to Reuters.