Further export controls on Chinese semiconductor technology this week | Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP

[Co-Author: Claire Le Tollec]

**UPDATE: Announcement moved to Friday, October 7, 2022 at 9:30AM EDT**

On Thursday, the Biden administration will announce new restrictions that would prevent China from gaining access to advanced U.S. semiconductor technology.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) will reportedly issue new rules clarifying which semiconductor technologies can be exported to China, including codifying earlier guidance for specific companies. The new development is part of a long-running U.S. government effort to limit China’s access to high-end semiconductor technology and boost its domestic production capacity as part of a broader strategic competition between the United States and the world’s second-largest economy.

new restrictions

The new measures are expected to codify export restrictions on advanced semiconductor production technologies, The New York Times reported. This may include control of the equipment (or the technology used to make the equipment) used to manufacture chips with fin field effect transistors (FinFETs).[1] Thursday’s announcement is expected to include export controls on certain chip-making tools — likely those with 14-nanometer capability or better. The rules could also ban the export of tools used to produce certain logic and memory chips in China and limit access to chips and related technologies used in supercomputing and artificial intelligence. The restrictions will also expand the so-called foreign direct product rule to more Chinese entities. The rule already prevents Huawei from accessing chips designed with U.S.-origin software or direct products of U.S.-origin technology.

The guidelines will also codify recent U.S. government directives to certain U.S. companies not to ship their latest AI processor chips to China. In sending the letters, BIS noted that these actions were necessary to protect “the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States.”


[1] ocean, Cherney, Max A., U.S. to expand control of Chinese chip technology this week; October 3, 2022, available at https://www.protocol.com/bulletins/us-china-chips-export-controls Obtain

*Claire Le Tollec is legal counsel in the firm’s Brussels office.

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