A Chinese chip maker has asked all of its U.S. employees in key technical positions to leave as the company struggles to comply with new U.S. export controls, according to a new report.
The move by Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. (YMTC) follows Apple’s decision to end plans to use its memory chips, following Washington’s imposition of tighter export controls.
A person close to the matter told The Financial Times that asking employees to resign was “necessary for the company and the right move also for employees’ personal risk.”
It remains unclear how many US citizens and green card holders would be forced to leave. People close to the company told The Times that several employees had already left the country.
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The US Commerce Department said earlier this month it was tightening export controls to limit China’s ability to acquire advanced computing chips, develop and maintain supercomputers and make advanced semiconductors.
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The department said its updated export controls focus on these areas because China can use the chips, supercomputers and semiconductors to create advanced military systems — including weapons of mass destruction — to commit human rights abuses and improve the speed and accuracy of its military decision-making. , planning and logistics.
The Commerce Department, which has been consulting with close allies and partners on its surveillance efforts, said the updates are part of ongoing efforts to protect U.S. national security and foreign policy interests.
“The threat environment is always changing, and we are updating our policies today to ensure that we address the challenges presented by (China) as we continue our outreach and coordination with allies and partners,” Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security. Alan Estevez said in a statement.
Tensions are rising between the US and China over technology and security. Last month the Chinese government called on Washington to lift its technology export restrictions after California-based chip designer Nvidia said a new product might be delayed and some work might be moved out of China.
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Washington has strengthened controls and lobbied allies to limit Chinese access to the most advanced chips and tools to develop its own. China is spending heavily to develop its fledgling manufacturers but has so far been unable to produce advanced chips used in the most advanced smartphones and other devices.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.