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China Must Prepare for ‘Long Tech March’ Following US Restrictions on SMIC: State Media

China must engage in a new “long march” in the technology sector now that the US has imposed export restrictions on Semiconductor Manufacturing, the country’s largest chip manufacturer, Chinese state-backed tabloid the Global Times wrote on Sunday.

The unnamed author of an op-ed in the paper argues that the US’ dominance of the global semiconductor industry supply chain is a “fundamental threat” to China.

“It now appears that China will need to control all research and production chains of the semiconductor industry, and rid itself of being dependent on the US,” the author wrote.

On Saturday, Reuters reported that the US had sent letters to companies informing them that they must obtain a license to supply SMIC.

The letter stated that SMIC and its subsidiaries “may pose an unacceptable risk of diversion to a military end use.” SMIC has denied any ties to China’s military.

The restrictions against SMIC, and earlier ones against Huawei, the op-ed author argues, illustrate that the US is leading a protracted battle of “high-tech suppression” against China.

Although companies such as Tencent and Beijing ByteDance have made some tech breakthroughs, they are based on US chip technology, the op-ed argues.

“The foundation of the entire industry is still in Americans’ hands. For now at least. China must leap from zero to one to provide solid support for the country’s competition with the US,” the author wrote.

The Global Times is a tabloid published by the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party, but does not speak on behalf of the party and government, unlike its parent publication.

© Thomson Reuters 2020


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