Chinese chip maker fires all American workers: Report

A Chinese chip maker has asked all of its American employees in key technology positions to leave as the company struggles to comply with new US export controls, according to a new report.

The move by Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. (YMTC) follows Apple’s decision to halt plans to use its own memory chips after Washington imposed tougher export controls.

Semiconductor chips

Semiconductor chips are seen on a computer circuit board.

A person close to the matter told the Financial Times that the request for staff to resign was “necessary for the company and the appropriate measure for the personal risk of employees as well”.

It remains unclear how many US citizens and green card holders will be forced to leave. People close to the company told The Times that some employees have already left the country.

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The US Commerce Department said earlier this month it was tightening export controls to limit China’s ability to obtain advanced computer chips, develop and maintain supercomputers and make advanced semiconductors.

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The department said its updated export controls are focusing on these areas because China can use chips, supercomputers and semiconductors to create advanced military systems — including weapons of mass destruction — commit human rights abuses and improve the speed and accuracy of its military decision-making. , planning and logistics.

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The Commerce Department, which consulted with allies and close partners on its control efforts, said the updates are part of ongoing efforts to protect US national security and foreign policy interests.

“The threat environment is always changing, and we are updating our policies today to make sure we are addressing the challenges posed by (China) while continuing our outreach and coordination with allies and partners,” Commerce’s undersecretary for industry and security. Alan Estevez said in a statement.

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Tensions have risen between the US and China over technology and security. Last month the Chinese government called on Washington to lift technology export restrictions after California-based chip designer Nvidia said a new product could be delayed and some jobs could be moved from China.

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Washington has tightened controls and lobbied allies to limit Chinese access to cutting-edge chips and tools to develop its own. China is spending heavily to develop its new manufacturers, but so far it cannot produce the high-end chips used in the most advanced smartphones and other devices.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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