The Biden administration is contemplating measures to plug a loophole that has been enabling Chinese firms to acquire U.S. artificial intelligence (AI) chips through overseas channels, as reported by Reuters on October 13, 2023. This move underscores Washington's ongoing effort to curb China's burgeoning AI capabilities which are significantly anchored on U.S. chip technology.
Last year, the U.S. administration introduced restrictions on the shipment of AI chips and chip-making tools to China, aiming to impede its military advancements. The present consideration to broaden the scope of restrictions reveals the administration's struggle to sever China's access to top-notch AI technology amidst the intricacies in sealing every avenue in export controls.
In the initial phase of restrictions, the loophole left open permitted overseas subsidiaries of Chinese companies to have unrestricted access to these semiconductors, thereby, potentially enabling their smuggling into China or remote access by China-based individuals. Notably, chips forbidden by U.S. regulations were reportedly available from vendors in Shenzhen's Huaqiangbei electronics area as of June.
The loophole’s existence points to the challenge faced by the U.S. in policing transactions involving these chips. While shipping the AI chips to mainland China is against U.S. law, enforcement becomes a hurdle as China-based personnel could lawfully access these chips housed at foreign subsidiaries.
Greg Allen from the Center for Strategic and International Studies highlighted that Chinese firms are procuring chips for overseas data centers, with Singapore emerging as a significant hub for cloud computing.
On the flip side, the Chinese government has previously voicedRead more on blockchain.news