Blinken says chip bans won’t hinder China’s growth

  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken clarifies U.S. export controls on advanced computing chips to China.
  • Sweeping controls initiated since 2022 restrict chip exports to China from major players like Nvidia, AMD, and Intel.
  • Exemptions granted to Intel and Qualcomm raise questions about the intention behind the bans.

The United States’ stringent export controls on advanced computing chips bound for China have sparked debates regarding their underlying motives. Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently addressed concerns, emphasising that these measures are not aimed at impeding China’s economic or technological progress.

Clarifying intentions

Since 2022, the U.S. has implemented extensive regulations governing the export of computing chips to China, impacting sales from companies like Nvidia, Advanced Micro Devices, and Intel.

These measures were introduced following previous bans on chip shipments to Huawei Technologies. Despite this, U.S. authorities have issued licenses to Intel and Qualcomm, allowing them to continue supplying chips to Huawei. Notably, Huawei utilises an Intel chip in its latest laptop model.

While this exemption for Intel faced criticism from two Republican lawmakers, Blinken emphasised during the NPR interview that U.S. export restrictions on advanced computing chips to China are not designed to stifle China’s economy or technological advancement.

Also read: China acquired banned Nvidia chips in Super Micro, Dell servers

Discrepancy in exemption

“I saw that Huawei just put out a new laptop that it boasted was AI capable, that uses an Intel chip,” Blinken told NPR host Steve Inskeep while visiting Beijing. “I think it demonstrates that what we’re focused on is only the most sensitive technology that could pose a threat to our security. We’re not focused on cutting off trade, or for that matter containing or holding back China.”

Under the administration of President Donald Trump, licenses permitting Intel and Qualcomm to sell to Huawei were issued and have continued under President Joe Biden.

However, competitors of these companies, such as AMD and MediaTek, have not received equivalent exemptions. Both the Trump and Biden administrations have not provided explanations for this discrepancy.

Also read: What chip suppliers does NVIDIA work with?

Lack of transparency

The absence of clarity regarding the criteria for granting exemptions adds to the ambiguity surrounding the U.S. chip bans. With no explicit rationale provided for the disparate treatment of companies within the same industry, concerns persist about the consistency and transparency of the regulatory framework governing chip exports to China.


Lydia Luo

Lydia Luo, an intern reporter at BTW media dedicated in IT infrastructure. She graduated from Shanghai University of International Business and Economics. Send tips to

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