U.S. blacklists Chinese supercomputing companies linked to military

©Kyodo News

The U.S. Commerce Department said Thursday it has added seven Chinese supercomputing entities to its economic blacklist for their alleged support of China's military modernization and other programs that could have a destabilizing impact in the world.

It is the first time that the administration of President Joe Biden, who took office in January, has imposed sanctions on Chinese high-tech companies. The move reflects the continuing U.S.-China rivalry including on the technology front.

Noting that supercomputing capabilities are vital for the development of nuclear and hypersonic weapons, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said her department will "use the full extent of its authorities to prevent China from leveraging U.S. technologies to support these destabilizing military modernization efforts."

The companies added to the Commerce Department's so-called Entity List included Tianjin Phytium Information Technology, Shanghai High-Performance Integrated Circuit Design Center, Sunway Microelectronics and the National Supercomputing Center in Shenzhen.

"These entities are involved with building supercomputers used by China's military actors, its destabilizing military modernization efforts, and/or weapons of mass destruction programs," the department said in a press release.

U.S. companies seeking to export products to companies on the list must apply for licenses, and the availability of most license exceptions is limited, according to the department.