US blacklists Chinese companies for quantum computers

The US has blacklisted a dozen Chinese groups involved in quantum computing and other advanced technologies for export because they pose a risk of accessing crucial US technologies for the People’s Liberation Army.

The move, which makes it nearly impossible for US companies to sell technologies to the publicly traded companies, targeted a total of 27 entities, including 12 in China and two affiliates in Japan and Singapore. In addition to quantum computing, companies in the semiconductor and aerospace industries were also on the list.

Eight of the Chinese groups were specifically targeted to prevent them from gaining access to sensitive quantum-related technology, the US Commerce Department said, arguing they could help the PLA improve anti-stealth and anti-submarine applications and facilitate efforts to break US encryption.

The actions mark the latest bid by the Biden administration to make it more difficult for China to secure advanced technologies with military applications. Last month, US intelligence officials warned US companies about Chinese efforts to access technology in areas such as quantum computers and artificial intelligence.

“This is a wise move and an important reminder of the scope and scale of China’s efforts to achieve technological breakthroughs that erode US national security,” said Martijn Rasser, a former CIA official who heads the technology industry. — and national security program from the Center for a New American Security Think Tank.

In addition to the targeted Chinese groups, Washington placed 13 Pakistani companies on its “entity list” for activities related to nuclear and ballistic missile programs. It added the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology to a list of “military end users”, making it more difficult to sell technology with military applications.

“Today’s actions will help prevent US technologies from being misused for the military advancement of the People’s Republic of China and Russia,” said Gina Raimondo, the US Secretary of Commerce.

Earlier this year, the US placed Phytium Technology on its “entity list” to prevent US technology from being used to design semiconductors for Chinese supercomputers used to develop hypersonic weapons. The FT recently reported that China conducted a hypersonic weapons test in July that stunned the Pentagon, raising new questions about how much US technology was being used to aid the Chinese military.

The Chinese companies on the list include three subsidiaries of Corad Technology, which the US claims has sold US technology to Iran, North Korea and PLA member groups. The quantum companies include Shanghai QuantumCTek and Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at the Microscale.

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