America curbs Chinese access to advanced computing

Visions of a technologically ascendent China keep American strategists up at night. They see the contours of a surveillance state implementing the will of President Xi Jinping by algorithmic edict at home and projecting computing power abroad. To erase those contours for good, on October 7th President Joe Biden’s administration announced the most sweeping set of export controls in decades. The new rules cut off people and firms in China from many advanced technologies of American origin, and from products made using these. The list includes chips used for artificial intelligence (ai), software to design advanced chips and the machine tools to manufacture them. Selling such things to China is now barred without explicit permission from America’s government. Rulebreakers risk being cut off from American tech themselves.

The share prices of affected Chinese firms have sunk (see chart). China’s biggest producer of memory chips, the state-owned YMTC, has 60 days to allow American…

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