U.S. suppliers are now scrambling to secure licenses to ship $5 billion worth of chipmaking equipment to Chinese giant Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp., according to Reuters.

  • Companies applied for licenses after the company was blacklisted in December. Certain ones have been granted in recent days, including for small numbers of expensive equipment.
  • U.S. government agencies are still undecided on what should be done to SMIC after the change in leadership to President Joe Biden. SMIC was placed on the U.S. Department of Commerce’s entity list over military concerns under the Trump administration.
  • The listing requires American suppliers to secure a license before shipment. Equipment that can be used to make more advanced and smaller chips is likely to be denied licenses.
  • Government decisions on license applications are mandated within a month, but are delayed due to follow-up questions.
  • Lam Research said an application is in process but it has not received a response.
  • Applied Materials in an earnings call did not assume licenses would be granted. A spokesperson declined further comment.
  • SMIC did not comment but said it provides services solely for civilian and commercial use. It said it has no ties to the Chinese military.