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US Adds AMD Joint Venture to Entity List

The US Department of Commerce has added five more Chinese organizations onto the same Entity List as Huawei over national security fears, including an AMD joint venture.

The department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) said the changes to the list, which will prevent US firms from doing business or selling components to them, will take effect from today.

That will be a headache especially for AMD, which set up a JV with Tianjin Haiguang Advanced Technology Investment Company (THATIC), aka Higon, back in 2016 to sell its x86 chips in China.

Two other companies on the list — Sugon and the Wuxi Jiangnan Institute of Computing Technology — build exascale supercomputers which the US government believes have military purposes. The latter is owned by the 56th Research Institute of the General Staff of the PLA, with a mission “to support China's military modernization,” according to the US government.

“Under § 744.11(b) (Criteria for revising the Entity List) of the EAR, entities for which there is reasonable cause to believe, based on specific and articulable facts, have been involved, are involved, or pose a significant risk of being or becoming involved in activities that are contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States, and those acting on behalf of such persons, may be added to the Entity List,” the notice said.

Sugon is said to be the majority owner of Higon, while the two remaining entities on the list are: Chengdu Haiguang Integrated Circuit (aka, Hygon and Chengdu Haiguang Jincheng Dianlu Sheji) and Chengdu Haiguang Microelectronics Technology (aka HMC and Chengdu Haiguang Wei Dianzi Jishu).

The new organizations join Huawei and ZTE on the list, which can be seen in the wider context of the Trump administration’s ramping up of pressure on the Chinese government over trade and national security.

Last week, the US Consumer Technology Association (CTA) complained that Trump’s much-derided tariffs would hit US consumers hardest, rather than the Chinese firms the US President wants to punish.

It claimed the average smartphone imported from China would increase in price by $70 (22%) if another proposed tariff of 25% on $300bn of Chinese goods is introduced.

“Tariffs are taxes, paid by American consumers —and these new tariffs would be a burden on American families just as they start back-to-school shopping,” said Gary Shapiro, CEO of the CTA.

“US consumers, not China, pay the price for tariffs — what more proof does the White House need? It’s time for this administration to put American small businesses, workers and families first and make a deal with China.”

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