China Blocks Use of Intel and AMD in Government PCs and Servers

China has introduced guidelines aimed at phasing out the use of U.S. microprocessors manufactured by Intel and AMD in government personal computers and servers, a news report in Financial Times indicated.
wi-fi-investmentAdditionally, the procurement guidance seeks to reduce reliance on Microsoft’s Windows operating system and foreign-made database software in favor of domestic alternatives.

Government agencies above the township level have been instructed to prioritize “safe and reliable” processors and operating systems when making procurement decisions. The guidelines come amidst China’s efforts to bolster its domestic technology sector and reduce dependence on foreign technologies.

A statement released by China’s industry ministry in late December included three lists of CPUs, operating systems, and centralized databases considered “safe and reliable” for a period of three years, all sourced from Chinese companies, as per checks conducted by Reuters.

The State Council Information Office, responsible for media inquiries on behalf of China’s cabinet, did not immediately respond to requests for comment regarding the new guidelines.

This move by China aligns with geopolitical tensions surrounding technology and semiconductor production.

China remains a key market for semiconductor giant Intel despite the Biden administration’s growing efforts to restrict the export of advanced chip technologies to Chinese entities.

“Intel’s presence in China is very important, because the country is one of the world’s largest markets, and also one of Intel’s most important markets,” Intel CEO Patrick Gelsinger said in April 2023 at a sustainability summit hosted by the company in Beijing.

China contributed $5.2 billion in revenue to AMD in 2022, accounting for 22 percent of total sales to external customers.

AMD CEO Lisa Su sees big opportunities in China. “We believe there’s an opportunity to develop products for our customer set in China that is looking for AI solutions, and we’ll continue to work in that direction,” Lisa Su said during a conference call with analysts in August 2023.

The United States, in particular, has been prioritizing efforts to enhance domestic semiconductor output and reduce reliance on both China and Taiwan. This was underscored by the Joe Biden administration’s 2022 CHIPS and Science Act, which aims to bolster domestic semiconductor production through subsidies and financial aid for the production of advanced chips.

Baburajan Kizhakedath