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USA announces export restrictions on materials for semiconductors

Apparently, the conflict between China and the USA is going into the next round. The United States has now imposed strict export bans on essential materials for the production of semiconductors. This is likely to further inflame the already heated situation.

Semiconductors as leverage

A while back we reported on the importance Taiwan has in the semiconductor manufacturing sector. This could be one reason why China has great interest in blockading or annexing the island nation. Likewise, this in turn explains why the U.S. so vehemently emphasizes that it will not stand idly by while Taiwan is subjugated by China. And it is semiconductor technology that is now apparently becoming the linchpin in economic sanctions on the part of the U.S. against China. So, at the beginning of July, a sales ban was unceremoniously imposed on exposure machines that are important in the production of valuable semiconductors. But this is not enough. Now further restrictions follow, which might brake the People’s Republic in the Far East with the production of own semiconductors. In the focus are this time beside important software also essential materials, which are important for the production.

Comprehensive export controls

Strictly speaking, the new regulations are not a blanket ban on exports of the technology in question. Rather, it has been determined on the part of the U.S. government that controls on export items in the affected industry will be expanded. This means that the technology may still be shipped. However, the Department of Commerce holds its hand over it and has the right to prohibit an export in individual cases. The material affected by the restrictions is an important semiconductor component, which is used in particular in high-performance chips. One example is gallium oxide. In simple terms, this is artificial diamond. Since they are not only important in the semiconductor industry, but are also increasingly being used for military purposes, the USA seems to be killing two birds with one stone here.

The target is China

Even though these are only restrictions and not real export bans, one does not have to think long about who the new regulations are aimed at – China. And with that, the conflict between the two superpowers enters the next round. Given the ongoing chip shortage, there is no end in sight to the potential for conflict. In the long term, China will probably work on setting up its own production facilities. The Middle Kingdom hopes this will give it more independence. It would be far more dangerous if the People’s Republic continues to flirt with Taiwan. Since the island state accounts for two-thirds of the entire semiconductor production worldwide, this could hardly be more lucrative. Let’s just hope that the Chinese ruler decides to act along the lines of Huawei. The Chinese state-owned company unceremoniously built up its own chip production and launched its own operating system in the wake of the comprehensive US sanctions.

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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Apparently, the conflict between China and the USA is going into the next round. The United States has now imposed strict export bans on essential materials for the production of semiconductors. This is likely to further inflame the already heated situation. Semiconductors as leverage A while back we reported on the importance Taiwan has in … (Weiterlesen...)

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