U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo on March 8 bluntly warned Chinese companies not to contravene trade sanctions against Russia by supplying the belligerent nation with chips and other supplies needed to sustain the war effort against Ukraine. Firms that do not abide by the sanctions can be "essentially shut" down, she said.
The commerce secretary emphasized the ease with which the Biden administration could shut down China's largest chipmaker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) or any other firms that make their technology available to Russia, adding it does not make sense from the companies’ own point of view to flout U.S. sanctions.
“They have their own self-interest to not supply this stuff to Russia. So they’re not doing it out of the goodness of their heart. It would be devastating to China’s ability to produce these chips,” Raimondo said.
In response to Russia's invasion, the United States, along with allies, imposed a spate of export controls on Moscow aiming to cut off the flow of advanced technology that aids the country's military. Restrictions were imposed not just on technology such as chips but on foreign products used to make software, blueprints, and electronic equipment.