Alibaba Architecture Frees Open-Source Genie from Trade War Bottle
With U.S. chipmakers subject to President Donald Trump’s trade ban, the Chinese e-commerce platform operator Alibaba is leaving little to risk by launching an open-source microprocessor in its drive to liberate itself – and, potentially, China’s IT industry – from reliance on foreign producers.
Unveiled at an Alibaba Cloud Summit event in the company’s home city of Shanghai last week, the XuanTie 910 chip from Alibaba’s subsidiary, Ping Tou Ge Semiconductor, is a rebuke to the Commerce Department’s Entities List of at least five Chinese tech companies.
In May, the Commerce Department added the Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei to the list which effectively prevents American technology companies from doing business with it. After talks with Chinese leaders in June, Trump temporarily removed Huawei from the list, but a bipartisan group of Congress members introduced legislation in July that would prevent Trump from revoking the ban unless Congress approved.
While Alibaba has not been blacklisted, the company’s production of the XT-910 comes amid both Alibaba’s push into cloud servicesand China’s view it should step away from U.S. suppliers. And it has a performance kicker if the company’s claims made about speed and cost prove correct.
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