China’s chipmakers are “going back to the Stone Age” and “there will be many losers”, especially Chinese companies that use US-hardware for AI algorithms for autonomous vehicles and logistics, medical imaging and research centres for drug discovery and climate change modelling, according to analysts quoted in a report by the Financial Times, which said controls imposed by Washington last Friday on computer chips made with US tech for use in artificial intelligence and high-performance computing meant that export licences would be very difficult to obtain.
A severe impact was also tipped from Washington’s bid to bar US citizens from supporting Chinese chip companies because most of the estimated 200 “Chinese and Taiwanese returnees” would not be willing to give up their US passports, the report said, adding that AI startups could lose their innovation dynamic, while foreign suppliers such as Lam Research will supplies China’s largest memory chipmaker, Yangtze Memory Technologies, and Intel could also be hit, although the latter, TSMC and Japan’s Kioxia might benefit. The main concern was that China might reverse engineer chip machinery to boost local companies, it said.
Read the full report: The FT.
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