Paul van Gerven
18 February

The US government has been drafting new regulations that would require foreign companies that use US technology to apply for a license in Washington if they want to supply Chinese companies, several news outlets report. If implemented, it could mean that the US would be able to block TSMC from shipping to Huawei, for example.

Credit: Marco Verch

The US has been trying to slow down China’s technological development for some time now, focusing on semiconductors in particular. Several Chinese firms, Huawei among them, have been blacklisted, though clearly America can’t control all supply chains in the world. When it turned out that, under current regulations, ASML’s EUV scanners do not have enough American technology onboard to restrict the export to China, the US government moved to pressure the Dutch authorities instead – successfully, so far.

Quite possibly, the US will move to lower the American technology content requirements at some point. This would frustrate China’s ambitions to manufacture its own advanced chips. If the rumored new regulations are implemented, that would also restrict the import of these chips, as every chip manufacturing facility uses equipment produced by US companies.