US blacklists 7 Chinese supercomputing entities

The US Commerce Department says it has added seven Chinese supercomputing companies and national labs to its list of entities to which exports are effectively banned.

The department said on Thursday that the seven entities "are involved with building supercomputers used by China's military actors, its destabilizing military modernization efforts, and/or weapons of mass destruction programs."

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said in a statement: "Supercomputing capabilities are vital for the development of many -- perhaps almost all -- modern weapons and national security systems, such as nuclear weapons and hypersonic weapons."

Raimondo added that her department "will use the full extent of its authorities to prevent China from leveraging US technologies to support these destabilizing military modernization efforts."

It is the first time for the administration of President Joe Biden to include Chinese firms to the trade blacklist known as the Entity List. The preceding administration of Donald Trump took similar action against Chinese businesses such as Huawei Technologies.

With the Biden administration apparently intent on taking on China's high-tech industry, which is key to national security and the economy, the rift between the two countries will likely deepen.