June 4, 2023

Great Indian Mutiny

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China is urging the World Trade Organization to sift through US-led chip export restrictions

A Chinese flag is displayed next to a “Made in China” sign on a circuit board printed with semiconductor chips, in this illustration photo taken Feb. 17, 2023.

Florence Low | Reuters

China has urged the World Trade Organization to scrutinize US-led technology export restrictions aimed at curbing its ability to make advanced chips, Chinese state television said on Wednesday.

China’s representatives at a regular meeting of the World Trade Organization this week said Japan, the Netherlands and the United States should submit their plans and subsequent measures to the body, which urged intensified oversight on the matter, CCTV reported.

On Tuesday, the Commerce Ministry said Beijing was deeply concerned about Japan’s export restrictions on chip-making equipment, and called on it to correct its “wrong practices.”

CCTV said the three countries’ move in concert to limit chip exports to China “violates the principles of fairness and transparency of the World Trade Organization”.

Last week, Japan said, without specifying China as a target, that it would restrict Exporting 23 types of semiconductor manufacturing equipment, in a move in line with Washington’s restrictions announced last October.

It came after the Netherlands said last month that it also plans to limit similar exports, such as those from ASML, which dominates the market for lithography systems used to create chip microcircuits.

China accused the US of being a “technological hegemon” and urged the Netherlands not to follow suit.

The state broadcaster’s report did not mention the WTO’s response to China’s inquiry.