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U.S. considers banning key exports to Chinese chipmaker SMIC - WSJ

A logo of Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) is seen at China International Semiconductor Expo (IC China 2020) following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Shanghai

(Reuters) - U.S. officials are considering discussing a Defense Department proposal this month to close regulatory loopholes that have allowed Chinese chipmaker SMIC to buy critical U.S. technology, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

Some Commerce Department officials are trying to block the Defense Department's proposal, the Journal added, citing people familiar with the matter.

Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) was added to a U.S. blacklist last year that denies it access to advanced manufacturing equipment from U.S. suppliers due to its alleged ties to China's military, claims that the company rejects.

SMIC, China's largest contract chipmaker, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report.

In the coming months, U.S. officials are also considering adding more Chinese technology companies to the Commerce Department's entity list and to the Treasury list banning U.S. investment, the Journal added.

On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to ban imports from China's Xinjiang region over concerns about forced labor.

(Reporting by Radhika Anilkumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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