**America’s Largest Semiconductor Companies Seek to Halt New Curbs on Sales to China**
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**Semiconductor Executives Travel to Washington to Discuss Sales Restrictions**
Top executives from Intel Corp., Qualcomm Inc., and Nvidia Corp. are set to travel to Washington next week to meet with administration officials and lawmakers. These CEOs are seeking to prevent further restrictions on the sale of certain chips and semiconductor manufacturing equipment to China. The companies hope to convince the Biden administration that tightening these restrictions will have negative implications for ongoing diplomatic efforts between the United States and China.
**China-US Trade Row Puts Semiconductor Companies in the Spotlight**
Semiconductor companies have found themselves at the center of a growing trade dispute between Beijing and Washington. The United States, as the primary source of advanced semiconductor technology, has imposed restrictions on China’s access to these technologies, citing national security concerns and the desire to impede China’s military advancements. However, semiconductor companies argue that being cut off from their largest market will hinder their technological development and undermine US leadership.
**Negotiating Economic and Diplomatic Implications**
Representatives from Intel, Qualcomm, and Nvidia have declined to comment on their upcoming meetings in Washington. These companies rely heavily on revenue from the Chinese market, with Qualcomm generating over 60% of its revenue from the country. Intel’s largest sales region is also China, accounting for a quarter of their sales, while China contributes about a fifth of Nvidia’s revenue. The executives hope to persuade the Biden administration that further restrictions could harm their ability to invest in advanced technologies and ultimately weigh on US global leadership.
**Existing Restrictions Impacted Chip Equipment Makers and Device Manufacturers**
In October, the US Commerce Department introduced rules that prohibited the sale of certain semiconductor manufacturing equipment to China and restricted the export of chips used in artificial intelligence applications. These restrictions have already affected chip equipment makers like Applied Materials Inc., who have drastically reduced their revenue projections. Furthermore, companies like Nvidia have faced limitations in shipping their artificial intelligence accelerators to China due to an approval process, leading to decreased sales.
**Political Backlash Surrounding Export Controls**
Representative Mike Gallagher, a Republican from Wisconsin and chairman of a House committee on competition with China, expressed concern over some American CEOs advocating for weaker export controls on sensitive technology. He emphasized the need for the Biden administration to strengthen export controls on advanced chips. These remarks highlight the division within the US regarding the regulation of semiconductor sales to China.
**Biden Administration Plans to Strengthen Existing Measures**
The Biden administration intends to update and finalize the current measures to further restrict China’s access to advanced semiconductor technologies. Bloomberg reported that the US is exerting its influence over overseas companies to cut off China’s access to these technologies. ASML Holding NV, a major chipmaking equipment provider, is facing tighter restrictions from the US and its home government in the Netherlands due to components made in the United States. The new rules will also reflect the outcomes of negotiations with Japan and the Netherlands.
**Conclusion: Semiconductor CEOs Lobby Against Sales Restrictions to China**
As America’s largest semiconductor companies embark on a last-ditch effort to prevent new sales curbs to China, their CEOs are meeting with administration officials and lawmakers in Washington. The companies hope to convince the Biden administration that further restrictions would hinder diplomatic efforts and damage the companies’ ability to advance their technologies. The semiconductor industry has become a focal point of the escalating trade tensions between the US and China, with the US aiming to tighten export controls while industry leaders highlight potential negative economic and technological consequences. The outcome of these discussions will have significant implications for the industry’s future.