Chinese firms that aid Russia may be cut off from U.S. equipment -commerce secretary

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo testifies before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies during a hearing on expanding broadband access on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S. February 1, 2022. Sarah Silbiger/Pool via REUTERS

March 8 (Reuters) - Chinese companies that defy U.S. restrictions against exporting to Russia may be cut off from American equipment and software they need to make their products, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told the New York Times.

The U.S. could "essentially shut" down Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (0981.HK) or any Chinese companies defying U.S. sanctions by continuing to supply chips and other advanced technology to Russia, Raimondo said in an interview published on Tuesday.

Washington is threatening to add companies to a trade blacklist if they skirt new export curbs against Russia, as it ramps up efforts to keep a vast array of technology out of the country that invaded Ukraine last month. read more

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If the United States were to find that a company like SMIC was selling its chips to Russia, "We could essentially shut SMIC down because we prevent them from using our equipment and our software," Raimondo was quoted as saying.

SMIC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In Beijing, a foreign ministry spokesman said China opposed any unilateral sanctions and curbs by the United States, and urged that Washington's policy towards Ukraine and Russia "should not harm China’s rights and interests".

The spokesman, Zhao Lijian, told a regular news briefing, "China will take all necessary measures to resolutely defend Chinese companies' and individuals' rights."

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Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Eduardo Baptista in Beijing; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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