China ‘has decided not to fan the flames on supercomputing rivalry’ amid US tensions – South China Morning Post
What happened: China did not enter its top supercomputer in a competition prior to a Trump administration decision to add five more Chinese high-performing computing companies to a trade blacklist, according to sources cited by the SCMP. China’s newest supercomputer, Shuguang, was not included on the latest Top500 ranking of the world’s fastest computer systems. Shuguang supercomputers are said to operate more than 50% faster than the best-performing machines in the US.
Why it’s important: China exclusion of its new supercomputer from the recent competition did not stop the US from blocking five more Chinese firms from purchasing American technology last week. China and the US have been locked in a tight race to be the first to produce the “exascale” computer, the next-generation supercomputer. China was reportedly planning a multi-billion investment to upgrade its supercomputer infrastructure after losing its top ranking last year to the US. China started building its own supercomputers without US semiconductors in 2015 after the Obama administration banned Intel, Nvidia, and AMD from selling high-end chips to China.