Bill Gates says US won’t be able to limit China’s Microchip industry

LONDON (Sputnik): The Microsoft founder strongly believes in the potential of US-China cooperation and does not think a military escalation is likely.

Bill Gates claimed on Thursday that the US would not be able to achieve the desired result and limit Beijing’s ambitions through procurement restrictions – which include a recent attempt to get the chip industry back under US control.

Gates does not see much sense in restricting chip sales to China, as the Asian nation will be able to catch up with the US rather quickly at this scale, and expressed his desire for Washington and Beijing to cooperate closer with each other.

Regarding a possible military conflict between China and the US within the next decade, Gates argues that restricting Chinese chip sales and manufacturing would only warn Beijing about the intention for military escalation and thus further damage bilateral relations and provide China with advance warning of a future threat. The billionaire personally does not believe in a military conflict between the two countries.

“So if you really think there’s gonna be a war in the next decade… which I hope never happens, I don’t think will happen,” Gates told to the audience.

However, his ambiguous remark that if one assumes “we can avoid big nuclear wars… life will be better 10 years from now, 20 years from now” speaks for itself.

Earlier, in 2019, the US obliged one of China’s largest electronics makers, Huawei, and other manufacturers to apply for permission to buy technology from the Commerce Department. This effectively left the Chinese giant without 5G chips.

In October 2022, the US went even further and not only expanded the list of companies covered by the restrictions, but also banned many foreign manufacturers from supplying Chinese customers. The Dutch company ASML, by far the largest manufacturer of photolithography equipment, also fell under the restrictions.

“I don’t think the US will ever be successful at preventing China from having great chips,” the businessman opined.

Photolithography is one of the most complex technologies in the world, without which the production of contemporary microchips is impossible. It requires decades of R&D and billions of dollars in investment. Only a few companies around the globe manufacture such equipment.

The sanctions are meant to prevent China from using modern microelectronic equipment in the military and may drastically hit the civilian electronics market as well.