US tech ban complicates trade talks, makes China’s supercomputing sector even stronger: analysts

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/6/22 18:33:16

While the US' latest crackdown on China's supercomputing industry threatens to complicate the trade talks that might resume soon between the world's two largest economies, it has also proven ineffective and could only serve as a catalyst for Chinese supercomputing firms to fast-track development and achieve self-reliance in the sector, Chinese analysts said on Saturday.

Citing national security concerns, the US Commerce Department said on Friday it was adding five Chinese technology groups including Sugon, the Wuxi Jiangnan Institute of Computing Technology, semiconductor company Higon, Chengdu Haiguang Integrated Circuit and Chengdu Haiguang Microelectronics Technology to its entity list. These companies are banned from buying components from US companies unless they get a waiver. 

Chinese tech giant Huawei had been added to the entity list in May. US-led crackdown on Huawei had triggered a strong backlash, and its "security concerns" had been widely questioned as groundless and unreasonable. 

"US' security concerns have got so illogical. If China achieved any progress in tech sectors that could be seen as a potential threat to the US, they would cite a security concern and put a ban on Chinese firms, not bother providing any concrete proofs," Xiang Ligang, director-general of the Beijing-based Information Consumption Alliance, told the Global Times on Saturday.

The US latest crackdown on China's supercomputing industry is nothing new for China's supercomputing industry as the fierce competition is intensifying between the two countries. And China's homegrown technology in the sector has been actually promoted by the outside blockage, analysts said. 

After the US banned Intel to export Xeon Phi chip to China's supercomputing sector in April 2015, China's self-developed supercomputers beat the US' supercomputers in terms of the computing speed in 2016. And China has continued to claim most supercomputers on world's top500 list.

The country dominates a list of the world's fastest supercomputers by the number of systems, according to a semi-annual ranking of the Top500 supercomputers published in Frankfurt on Monday. It tops the supercomputer list with 219 systems, or 43.8 percent of the total, followed by the US with 116, and Japan ranked third with 29 systems. The latest ban on China's supercomputing companies will indeed cause certain negative influence, but the impact is fairly limited, according to experts.

"China's supercomputing industry has developed resilience against outside pressure," Zhang Yi, CEO with Shenzhen-based iiMedia Research, told the Global Times on Saturday.

The US' latest ban on China's supercomputing companies is a reminder that China should keep a cautious attitude toward further trade talks, said Mei Xinyu, an analyst close to the Ministry of Commerce.

Global Times

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