Exclusive-US chip CEOs plan Washington trip to talk China policy – sources


By Stephen Nellis, Andrea Shalal and Karen Freifeld

(Reuters) – The chief executives of Intel Corp and Qualcomm Inc are planning to visit Washington next week to discuss China policy, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

The executives plan to hold meetings with U.S. officials to talk about market conditions, export controls and other matters affecting their businesses, one of the sources said. It was not immediately clear whom the executives would meet.

Intel and Qualcomm declined to comment, and officials at the White House did not immediately return a request for comment.

The sources said other semiconductor CEOs may also be in Washington next week. The sources declined to be named because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

U.S. officials are considering tightening export rules affecting high-performance computing chips and shipments to Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, sources told Reuters in June. The rules would respectively affect Intel, which is preparing a new artificial intelligence chip that could be shipped to China, and Qualcomm, which has a license to sell chips to Huawei.

The Biden administration last October issued a sweeping set of rules designed to freeze China’s semiconductor industry in place while the U.S. pours billions of dollars in subsidies into its own chip industry.

The possible rule tightening would hit Nvidia particularly hard. The company’s strong position in the AI chip market helped boost its worth to $1 trillion earlier this year.

The chip industry has been warmly received in Washington in recent years as lawmakers and the White House work to shift more production to the U.S. and its allies, and away from China. Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger and Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon have met often with government officials.

Next week’s meetings, which one of the sources said could include joint sessions between executives and U.S. officials, come as Nvidia Corp and other chip companies fear a permanent loss of sales for an industry with large amounts of business in China while tensions escalate between Washington and Beijing.

One of the sources familiar with the matter said the executives’ goals for the meetings would be to ensure that government officials understand the possible impact of any further tightening of rules around what chips can be sold to China.

Many U.S. chip firms get more than one-fifth of their revenue from China, and industry executives have argued that reducing those sales would cut into profits that they reinvest into research and development.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal in Washington, Stephen Nellis in San Francisco and Karen Freifeld in New York; Editing by Chris Sanders and Edmund Klamann)

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