As a group of 42 nations including the US and Japan plan to restrict weapon-capable semiconductor exports to ensure cyber-security, China is worried that its weapons development program may be hit.
Military semiconductors account for around 2% of China's total weapons expenditure amounting to some 6 billion yuan ($853.36 million), according to an industry report quoted by Global Times.
Quoting an industry ‘insider,’ the report said that imported semiconductors generally perform better compared with domestic ones. “Take the night vision goggles as an example, foreign goggles made with foreign parts could be used for 15,000 hours, while domestically made ones could only last for around 10,000 hours or even less," said the insider.
Although China has the ability to manufacture the required semiconductors, the cost would be higher if produced domestically compared to imports.
The countries that plan to restrict export include members of Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies (WA). The list includes India, Russia, Britain and South Korea. In addition, the export of cybersoftware will also be controlled.
The new restrictions are allegedly targeted in order to curb proliferation of military technology into China, North Korea and Iran; to counter cyberattacks and other international threats.