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U.S. will block sales to Chinese technology company for safety concerns

WASHINGTON – The United States said on Monday it would block a Chinese state-owned technology company from buying US components because it posed a threat to national security, the latest shock in a growing row between the two largest economies in the world.

The company, Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit, a semiconductor manufacturer, "poses a significant risk" of engaging in activities that could violate national security, the Commerce Department said.

The move could paralyze Jinhua, which is based on US components for its semiconductors, and followed a similar action taken by the Commerce Department this year to block sales of components to ZTE, a Chinese telecommunications company. The ZTE ban was rescinded after President Trump, in response to a request by President Xi Jinping of China in May, asked the department to ease the penalty. ZTE agreed to pay a large fine, reorganize its leadership and undergo compliance monitoring by the United States.

But relations between the United States and China have worsened since then, and the Trump administration is taking an increasingly harsh line in transactions involving Chinese entities. It is anxious to prevent China's rise as an economic and technological power and has begun to aggressively examine agreements abroad to prevent Beijing from gaining access to valuable US intellectual property.

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