Just as ISC19 wrapped up yesterday, showcasing the latest in supercomputing technology, the U.S. added five Chinese entities including Sugon to its blacklist prohibiting them from access to advanced technology vital to supercomputing according to multiple news reports.
The New York Times reported today: “The Commerce Department announced that it would add four Chinese companies and one Chinese institute to an “entity list,” saying they posed risks to American national security or foreign policy interests. The move essentially bars the entities, which include one of China’s leading supercomputer makers, Sugon, and a number of its subsidiaries set up to design microchips, from buying American technology and components without a waiver from the United States government.
“With just over $1 billion in revenue last year, Sugon is tiny compared to Huawei, which was placed on the entity list last month. Still, its exclusion from American technology will represent an especially bitter pill for Beijing to swallow, as its supercomputers form the core of some of the Chinese government’s most sensitive and important systems.”
Entities besides Sugon include: Higon, Chengdu Haiguang Integrated Circuit, Chengdu Haiguang Microelectronics Technology, and Wuxi Jiangnan Institute of Computing Technology, “which lead China’s development of high performance computing, some of which is used in military applications like simulating nuclear explosions, the Commerce Department” according to the NYT report. The five join China’s Huawei, which was placed on the black list in May.
According to the NYT report, Sugon is one of “China’s most important makers of high-performance computers and servers, with 10 out of the top 20 fastest supercomputers in China, according to China’s TOP100 rankings in 2018. The immensely powerful machines serve entities including China’s government and power weather prediction capabilities and its largest technology companies.”
The Wall Street Journal quoted the U.S. Commerce Department ruling, “Sugon has publicly acknowledged a variety of military end uses and end users of its high-performance computers,” the Commerce Department rule says, adding that Wuxi Jiangnan is owned by the 56th Research Institute of the General Staff of China’s People’s Liberation Army and has a mission to support China’s military modernization.”
Link to New York Times article: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/21/us/politics/us-china-trade-blacklist.html
Link to Wall Street Journal article: https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-targets-chinas-supercomputing-push-with-new-export-restrictions-11561129547?mod=hp_lead_pos3