China‘s top nuclear weapons research institute has purchased advanced American computer chips at least a dozen times over the past two and a half years, successfully circumventing decades of U.S. export restrictions on such sales.
Procurement documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal show that while the China Academy of Engineering Physics was placed on a U.S. export blacklist as early as 1997, its Since 2020, the agency has still managed to secure semiconductors from U.S. companies such as Intel Corp. (INTC) and Nvidia Corp. (NVDA).
The chips, which are widely used in data centers and personal computers, are sourced through middlemen in China. Some were purchased as components of computing systems, and many were procured by a laboratory at the Chinese Academy of Physics that studies computational fluid dynamics. Computational fluid dynamics is broad, including modeling of nuclear explosions.