The state-run China Academy of Engineering Physics (CAEP), one of China’s top nuclear weapons research institutes, has purchased U.S. computer chips despite its placement on a U.S. export blacklist in 1997.
The institute has managed to procure the semiconductors made by companies such as Intel Corporation INTC and Nvidia Corporation NVDA since 2020, reports The Wall Street Journal.
The institute sourced the chips from various resellers in China. In addition, some of the chips were procured to be used for computing systems.
According to the report, the research institute bought the chips to study computational fluid dynamics, including modeling nuclear explosions.
The chips bought by the academy ranged in size from 7 nanometers to 14 nanometers, many of which are not produced in China. Versions of Intel’s Xeon Gold and Nvidia’s GeForce RTX chips which are purchased by CAEP can be bought off Taobao, which is one of China’s largest e-commerce marketplaces.
Also Read: Pressure Mounts On US To Blacklist This Top Chinese Chipmaker
The U.S. has imposed longstanding restrictions on such purchases to avoid using any such products for atomic weapons research by foreign powers.
Because of its nuclear research-related activities, the CAEP academy was put on the U.S. blacklist, known as the entity list.
While Nvidia said it is challenging to monitor the distribution or selling of chips as millions of PCs are sold worldwide, Intel has said that it complies with export regulations and sanctions, and so must its distributors and customers.
China’s purchases of machines to make computer chips have fallen as the U.S. has kicked off new, sweeping sanctions to try to derail the country’s chip ambitions.
Chinese firms imported $2.4 billion worth of machinery used in semiconductor manufacturing in October 2022, the lowest amount in more than two years after Washington broadened restrictions.
© 2023 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.