The United States, under the leadership of President Joe Biden’s administration, has announced a significant expansion of its export restrictions on artificial intelligence (AI) chips. This move, aimed at enhancing national security, seeks to prohibit the export of AI chips developed by Invidia and various other US technology firms to China. The decision is part of a broader strategy to prevent China from harnessing cutting-edge US technology to bolster its military capabilities.
The newly introduced measures are set to take effect within the next 30 days and represent a widening of export controls encompassing modern chips and chipmaking equipment. This expansion reaches beyond China and extends to include Iran and Russia. Additionally, it entails the blacklisting of Chinese chip design companies Moore Threads and Biren.
Gina Raimondo, the US Secretary of Commerce, explained that these measures are designed to close regulatory gaps that were initially addressed by the United States last October. She emphasized that these policies may be subject to annual updates.
Raimondo clarified the objective of these measures, stating, “The goal of this measure is to limit China’s access to cutting-edge semiconductors. We are concerned that China will leverage this technology to develop advanced AI and computing capabilities, which could potentially bolster China’s military strength.” She also underlined that the Biden administration’s intent is not to harm China’s economy.
In a further statement, Raimondo assured that China would continue to import billions of dollars’ worth of semiconductors from the United States.
The Chinese Embassy responded to these developments with a strong objection, stating, “China strongly opposes this new US measure. The US’s use of export control measures or attempts to politicize this issue are seen as violations of market economy principles and fair competition. Such actions are perceived as undermining international economic and trade order.”
The expansion of export restrictions on AI chips highlights the evolving complexities in the US-China relationship, especially in the realm of technology and national security. These measures are set to have significant implications for the tech industry and global trade, with ongoing scrutiny and dialogue likely to persist in the coming months.