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China, HK Firms Sending a Flood of US Chips to Russia – Nikkei

The trade in US computer chips from Hong Kong and China to Russia soared more than tenfold last year to at least $740 million, according to a probe by Nikkei

Investors pumped billions into chip related stocks in Taiwan and South Korea last month, data for May has revealed.
The battle for shares of China's AI chip market is a multi-billion-dollar tussle, but filling the void created by the latest US curbs could take some time, experts say. This Reuters file photo shows a Huawei Hisilicon chip.


Journalists working for Nikkei say they obtained Russian customs data from a research group that revealed a huge ten-fold jump in the trade of US-made computer chips – allegedly totalling many hundreds of millions of dollars – flowing through small traders in Hong Kong and mainland China to Russia, despite US sanctions imposed on the latter for its war in Ukraine.

The records from February 24 to December 31 in 2022 “showed 3,292 transactions worth at least $100,000 each, and 2,358 of them – about 70% – were labelled as products of US chipmakers such as Intel, Advanced Micro Devices, Texas Instruments and many others; the total value of these transactions was at least $740 million,” the report said, adding that many of the shippers were small or midsize companies set up after Ukraine was invaded, while data for the same period in 2021 showed only 230 high-value exports of US chips from Hong Kong and China to Russia with a total value of just $51 million.

One Hong Kong firm, which like most of the companies uncovered in Nikkei’s months-long probe was not on US sanctions lists, was shipping Intel chips worth more than $10,000 each to Russia, which a defence expert said meant they could have been “needed to control missiles and defence systems”.

Read the full report: Nikkei.




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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.


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