United States firms banned from supplying Chinese smartphone chip maker

US bans exports to Chinese DRAM maker citing national security risk

US Restrict Exports to Chinese Chip Maker Over Technology Theft

Earlier this year, the Trump administration put an export ban on ZTE, one of China's biggest tech companies.

By adding the company to the Export Administration Regulations "entity list", the U.S. commerce department makes "all exports, re-exports, software, and technology" to Jinhua subject to a licence, and applications for that licence "will be reviewed with a presumption of denial".

The announcement follows increasing tensions between the USA and China.

Derek Scissors, a China expert at the American Enterprise Institute, said the company was one of the country's potential national champions and is in a dispute with its main competitor, USA chipmaker Micron Technology Inc.

Observers say the latest restriction against Fujian Jinhua is likely to spark new tensions between the two economic powerhouses, . since the company is at the heart of the "Made in China 2025" program to develop new high-tech industries.

Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co, a state-backed company in China, is accused of stealing intellectual property from Micron Technology, a rival based in Idaho.

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He said suppliers such as Applied Materials Inc, Lam Research Corp and KLA-Tencor Corp were likely supplying equipment to Fujian Jinhua.

In July, a court in Jinhua's home province banned sales of some Micron products, inciting the American firm's outrage.

"When a foreign company engages in activity contrary to our national security interests, we will take strong action to protect our national security", said US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in a statement.

The United States and China have been engaged in a trade war, with Trump imposing tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods and threatening to hit all imports from China with levies.

The United States wants China to open its market to American businesses and end its long-standing practice of pressuring American companies to hand over valuable technology as a condition of doing business there.

It's unclear how much of this concern is legitimate, but either way, the Department of Commerce has officially made Fujian Jinhua a no-go for USA companies, which could hinder its ability to manufacture DRAM. Trump and Xi are expected to meet in Argentina next month at the Group of 20 summit, where they plan to discuss trade, North Korea and other issues.

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