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United States hits Chinese chip maker Fujian Jinhua with export ban

On Monday, the US Department of Commerce UU He said Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Company could not buy components from US companies without a special license.

The export ban was implemented because Fujian Jinhua "poses a significant risk of involvement in activities that are contrary to the national security interests of the United States," the agency said.

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

Ross said the ban would limit the company's ability to "threaten the supply chain of essential components in our military systems."

The move comes as the United States and China are caught in a dispute over trade, market access and the transfer of technology secrets. It could add tension to a tense bilateral relationship. Reportedly, negotiations have stalled before a planned meeting between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the next G20 summit in Argentina.
Earlier this year, the Trump administration imposed an export ban on ZTE, one of China's largest technology companies. The agency said that ZTE (ZTCOF) lied to US officials about the punishment of employees who violated US sanctions against North Korea and Iran. The ban, which became a critical point between the two nations, was lifted in July after ZTE paid a $ 1 billion fine and accepted oversight measures.

The Commerce Department's action comes after Micron Technology, a maker of memory chips in Idaho, accused Fujian Jinhua of stealing his trade secrets in a federal lawsuit last December. Fujian Jinhua filed a counterclaim against Micron in a Chinese court in January.

Fujian Jinhua, based in east China's Fujian Province, was founded in 2016 and has the financial backing of the provincial government, according to Chinese state media. A $ 5.7 billion chip factory is being built in the region.

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