RISC-V chip tech curb on China ‘to harm US firms’

A chip manufacture machine Photo: VCG

A chip manufacture machine Photo: VCG

The US is reportedly working to review the potential risks of RISC-V chip technology being used by major Chinese technology companies, which is seen as a new front of the expanding technology war initiated by the US that aims to curb China’s development in the sector.

Observers said that the US will find it difficult to restrict China on RISC-V technology and that if it does so, US companies could bear huge losses and the global supply chain could be affected.

The US Department of Commerce is reviewing the national security implications of China’s work in open-source RISC-V chip technology, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing a letter the department sent to US lawmakers.

Any restrictions could set off a chain reaction and create uncertainty for the initiators themselves, Zhang Xiaorong, director of the Beijing-based Cutting-Edge Technology Research Institute, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

“As an open-source technology, RISC-V is widely used in the design of the Internet of Things. China’s contribution to the technology is strong,” said Zhang.

According to Reuters, the US Commerce Department letter said that it is “working to review potential risks and assess whether there are appropriate actions under Commerce authorities that could effectively address any potential concerns.” 

But the Commerce Department also noted that it would need to tread carefully to avoid harming US companies that are part of international groups working on RISC-V technology. Previous controls on transferring 5G technology to China created roadblocks for US firms working in international standards bodies where China was also a participant, risking US leadership in the field, according to Reuters.

Analysts said that the letter shows that the US action is about technology dominance, not open-source development.

RISC-V, pronounced as “risk five,” is a set of basic instructions that tell a chip how to perform a computing task. It provides a common language for designing processors used in devices such as smartphones, disk drives, Wi-Fi routers and tablets, according to RISC-V International, a non-profit managing RISC-V technology.

Since RISC-V is an open-source technology, if the US imposes restrictions, it will slow down the global development of the technology, Ma Jihua, a veteran telecom industry observer, told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

If the US imposes restrictions, it may only restrict American companies that do RISC-V research and development and production from cooperating with Chinese companies, Ma said.

“It’s similar to … when the US sanctioned Huawei [and] American companies weren’t allowed to participate in international conferences or organizations where Huawei was present. However, the ban was eventually revised because Huawei was seen as more important to many international organizations than some American companies,” said Ma, and it will be the same with RISC-V technology.

Controlling China’s access to RISC-V technology, however, is easier said than done, said an analysis published by the Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET), a policy research organization within Georgetown University, in January.

RISC-V International moved its headquarters from the US to Switzerland in March 2020 in part to insulate itself from the creeping influence of geopolitics on the chip industry. This move severely limits the US government’s regulatory options, according to CSET.

China’s Douyin bans AI generated content to spread misinformation, rumors

Douyin Photo: VCG

Douyin Photo: VCG


Chinese short video platform Douyin has banned the use of artificial intelligence generated content (AIGC) to create and post content that goes against science, fabricates information, or spreads rumors, according to a notice on its WeChat account on Wednesday. 

The issuance of the regulation is timely and necessary to promote the orderly development of the AI industry, experts said.

Douyin said that it has recently identified and taken action against accounts that are using AI to create virtual humans and post inappropriate content.

It urged creators, live-streamers, users, and merchants on the platform to follow a five-point regulation when using generative AI on the platform. 

The creator of AI content must clearly label it so others can determine if it is real or not, and must take responsibility for any consequences resulting from the content. 

Virtual humans must be registered on the platform, and users of the technology must undergo identity verification. 

The platform also prohibits the use of AI to create and share content that infringes on the rights of others, including images and intellectual property. It prohibits AI-generated content that goes against science, spreads untruths, or creates rumors. If such content is found, the platform will impose strict penalties.

The issuance of the regulation comes as AI technology has sparked controversy across the world. There is growing concern that AI-generated literature is becoming a challenge to human-created works. Additionally, there is debate over whether AI-facilitated digital figures of the deceased would be acceptable for families.


“This regulation is necessary, as it aligns with policy guidance and meets the needs of platform development. With quick development of AIGC, it is essential to have regulations in place to label the content and make clear the accountability,” Liu Dingding, a technology industry observer told the Global Times on Wednesday.

China has placed increased emphasis on AI technology in the pursuit of new quality productive forces and economic growth, and has stepped up AI governance to ensure that it is used for the benefit of the people.

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) and six other ministries issued temporary rules for managing generative AI services in July, in a bid to promote the sound development of the sector, safeguard national security and the public interest, while also protecting the legitimate rights and interests of individuals.  

The temporary rule, which has been in force since August 15, emphasizes that the use of generative AI should follow China’s laws. 

Any act of generating or transmitting illegal content will be terminated on the spot, and illegal content will be erased. Generative AI technology providers should offer specific data processing training in line with the law. 

The CAC said the rapid development of generative AI technology has brought new opportunities for economic and social development, while also giving rise to problems misinformation, infringement of personal rights, bias and discrimination, noting that how to co-ordinate the development and safety of generative AI has aroused public concern. The CAC emphasized that the rule was made to underpin the healthy development of generative AI technology. The rule encourages the innovative development of generative AI technology.