China Blocks AMD, Intel Chips in New Guidelines, FN Reports

China introduces new procurement guidelines favoring domestic technology sources, impacting US processors in government computers and servers

China has introduced new procurement guidelines that will eliminate the use of U.S. processors from Intel and AMD in government computers and servers, as reported by the Financial Times.

These regulations, effective from December 26, extend to software as well, favoring Chinese-made operating systems and database software over foreign alternatives like Microsoft’s Windows.

The directive affects government agencies above the township level, mandating the shift to “safe and reliable” technology sources. Both AMD and Intel have not commented on these developments.

This action aligns with China’s broader strategy to bolster its domestic semiconductor sector and lessen its dependency on international tech. Semiconductors, essential for various applications including consumer electronics and medical devices, are a focal point in the technological rivalry between China and the United States.

Despite potential changes in U.S. administration, export controls aimed at severing China’s access to crucial semiconductor technology and equipment are expected to persist. These controls were part of measures initiated in October 2022 to curb China’s acquisition and production of sophisticated semiconductor chips, fearing their potential military application.

Moreover, in October 2023, the U.S. imposed additional regulations preventing Nvidia, a leading American chip designer, from selling high-end AI processors to China. The ongoing tensions have led to significant restrictions on Chinese technology giants like Huawei and SMIC, with the latter struggling to acquire essential equipment for advanced chip manufacturing, notably from ASML.

This escalating tech conflict has inadvertently fueled growth in China’s local semiconductor industry, with reports from CINNO Research indicating a 39% revenue increase for the nation’s top chip equipment manufacturers in the first half of 2023 compared to the previous year.

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