A Cautionary Tale For China's Ambitious Chipmakers

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Wuhan Hongxin Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.’s unfinished chip fabrication plant. Amy Cheng/NPR

Amy Cheng/NPR

WUHAN, China — In 2019, the U.S. sanctioned two major Chinese telecom firms, temporarily cutting them off from a vital supply of semiconductor chips — bits of silicon wafer and microscopic circuitry that help run nearly all our electronic devices.

Wuhan Hongxin Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. promised a way out, toward self-reliance in the face of increasingly tough U.S. curbs on this technology. The private company once boasted on its website that it would raise a

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