China bans US chips in government computers

The modern China

Published 26 March 2024
- By Editorial Staff
AMD and Intel chips are not considered safe and reliable in China.

China has issued new national guidelines that will phase out U.S. Intel and AMD chips from government computers and servers. The guidelines will also include Microsoft Windows operating systems.

The new guidelines require government agencies above the local level to include criteria that require “secure and reliable” processors and operating systems when making purchases, which they say does not include American processors. The new guidelines mean that chips from Intel and AMD, for example, will no longer be considered secure in China, according to the Financial Times.

The guidelines also restrict the use of Microsoft’s Windows and other foreign operating systems. Apple, for example, has already been banned from several Chinese government agencies and state-owned enterprises.

China’s Ministry of Industry issued a statement in late December with three separate lists of processors, operating systems and central databases that are considered “secure” for three years from the date of publication. All were from Chinese companies, Reuters reports. Among other things, China has built computers with its own Loongson 3A6000 chip, which is said to be at least as good as Intel’s.

For its part, the United States has previously imposed export restrictions that prohibit several chipmakers from introducing semiconductor technology into China. In October 2022, for example, it introduced rules aimed at restricting China’s ability to access, acquire, or manufacture advanced semiconductor chips, citing concerns that China could use them for military purposes. Since 2019, it has also sanctioned Huawei and SMIC, China’s largest chip manufacturer, among others, to limit their access to advanced technologies.

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