US sanctions 28 quantum computing entities in China, Russia, Pakistan, Japan
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Catalin Cimpanu November 26, 2021

US sanctions 28 quantum computing entities in China, Russia, Pakistan, Japan

US sanctions 28 quantum computing entities in China, Russia, Pakistan, Japan

The US Department of Commerce has sanctioned 28 organizations from China, Russia, Pakistan, Japan, and Singapore for helping advance and distribute quantum computing technologies to military and nuclear weapons programs.

“Global trade and commerce should support peace, prosperity, and good-paying jobs, not national security risks,” said US Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo in a press release on Wednesday.

“Today’s actions will help prevent the diversion of US technologies to the PRC’s and Russia’s military advancement and activities of non-proliferation concern like Pakistan’s unsafeguarded nuclear activities or ballistic missile program,” Raimondo added.

The 28 entities and the reasons given by the Commerce Department are listed below. The Russian organization was added to the Department’s Military End-User (MEU) sanction list, while the rest were added to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) list.

EntityCountryReason
Corad Technology Pte Ltd.SingaporeSales of technology from the United States and other Western nations to Iran’s military and space programs, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) front companies, and Chinese government and defense industry subordinate entities.
Corad Technology Japan K.K.JapanSales of technology from the United States and other Western nations to Iran’s military and space programs, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) front companies, and Chinese government and defense industry subordinate entities.
Corad Technology (Shenzhen) Ltd.;ChinaSales of technology from the United States and other Western nations to Iran’s military and space programs, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) front companies, and Chinese government and defense industry subordinate entities.
Hangzhou Zhongke Microelectronics Co., Ltd.ChinaSupport of the military modernization of the People’s Liberation Army.
Hunan Goke MicroelectronicsChinaSupport of the military modernization of the People’s Liberation Army.
New H3C Semiconductor Technologies Co., Ltd.ChinaSupport of the military modernization of the People’s Liberation Army.
Xi’an Aerospace Huaxun TechnologyChinaSupport of the military modernization of the People’s Liberation Army.
Yunchip MicroelectronicsChinaSupport of the military modernization of the People’s Liberation Army.
Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at MicroscaleChinaAcquiring and attempting to acquire U.S.-origin items in support of military applications.
QuantumCTek Co.ChinaAcquiring and attempting to acquire U.S.-origin items in support of military applications.
Shanghai QuantumCTeck Co., Ltd.ChinaAcquiring and attempting to acquire U.S.-origin items in support of military applications.
Al-QertasPakistanContributions to Pakistan’s unsafeguarded nuclear activities.
Q&N TradersPakistanContributions to Pakistan’s unsafeguarded nuclear activities.
U.H.L. CompanyPakistanContributions to Pakistan’s unsafeguarded nuclear activities.
Jiuding Refrigeration & Air-conditioning Equipment Co (Pvt) LtdPakistanContributions to Pakistan’s unsafeguarded nuclear activities.
K-SOFT EnterprisesPakistanContributions to Pakistan’s unsafeguarded nuclear activities.
Seljuk Traders (SMC-Private) LimitedPakistanContributions to Pakistan’s unsafeguarded nuclear activities.
Global Tech EngineersPakistanContributions to Pakistan’s unsafeguarded nuclear activities.
Asay Trade & SuppliesPakistanContributions to Pakistan’s unsafeguarded nuclear activities.
Jade Machinery Pvt. Ltd.PakistanContributions to Pakistan’s unsafeguarded nuclear activities.
Shaanxi Zhi En Electromechanical Technology Co., LtdChinaContributions to Pakistan’s unsafeguarded nuclear activities.
Peaktek Company Ltd.ChinaContributions to Pakistan’s unsafeguarded nuclear activities.
Poly Asia Pacific Ltd. (PAPL)ChinaContributions to Pakistan’s unsafeguarded nuclear activities.
Broad EngineeringPakistanContributions to Pakistan’s ballistic missile program
Prime TechPakistanProcuring items subject to the EAR on behalf of Techlinks, an entity located in Pakistan that was added to the Entity List in September 2018
Muhammad Ashraf (Prima Tech employee)PakistanProcuring items subject to the EAR on behalf of Techlinks, an entity located in Pakistan that was added to the Entity List in September 2018
Muhammad Farrukh (Prima Tech employee)PakistanProcuring items subject to the EAR on behalf of Techlinks, an entity located in Pakistan that was added to the Entity List in September 2018
Moscow Institute of Physics and TechnologyRussiaAiding Russia’s military programs.

The role of the sanctions list is to forbid US organizations, such as suppliers and customers, from establishing any business connections with the 28 organizations in the hopes of stymying the flow of know-how, financing, and raw materials needed for those companies to continue operating at full capacity.

US companies can apply for a sanction to deal with any of the entities, but they will most likely be denied.

The sanctions against companies working on quantum computing technologies come as the Department of Commerce previously sanctioned eight Chinese supercomputing organizations the US had claimed were helping China advance its military program.

Quantum computers are considered an evolutional step above supercomputers, using quantum states instead of electrical signals to run mathematical computations millions of times faster than even the world’s most advanced supercomputers.

While the technology has been under research and development for decades, the first functional quantum computers have started operating in the USJapan, and China in recent years, with experts predicting a new -age arms race among the world’s top countries to gain access to the most advanced quantum systems for military and space applications.

This week’s sanctions come as the Chinese government has also been pushing its local tech sector for “self-sufficiency and self-empowerment” in a clear move to isolate its tech sector and its supply chain from the US in what appears to be developing into a new technological Cold War.

Catalin Cimpanu is a cybersecurity reporter for The Record. He previously worked at ZDNet and Bleeping Computer, where he became a well-known name in the industry for his constant scoops on new vulnerabilities, cyberattacks, and law enforcement actions against hackers.