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US-China tensions

China's top chipmaker SMIC hit by US export controls

Beijing-backed company denies Washington's claims of military links

TAIPEI -- The U.S. is tightening export controls on Semiconductor Manufacturing International Co., China's top chipmaker, citing an "unprecedented risk" posed by the company's alleged links to the military.

In a letter dated Sept. 25 and seen by the Nikkei Asian Review, the U.S. Department of Commerce instructs American companies to apply for licenses to ship certain controlled items to SMIC. The move further escalates the Trump administration's crackdown on Chinese tech companies and is likely to ratchet up tensions with Beijing.

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