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U.S. trade restrictions and growing pressure from the Chinese Communist Party to end reliance on foreign chipmakers has left many Chinese technology companies understandably worried.

Over the past few months, the U.S. Commerce Department has cut off Chinese companies believed to have military ties from critical intellectual property and manufacturing equipment used to make high-end chips. Meanwhile, the agency has taken steps to prevent many of these same companies from sourcing prefabricated silicon from U.S. chipmakers like Intel.

Faced with this tech decoupling, Chinese companies like Alibaba, Huawei, and ZTE have started thinking outside the silicon box and have begun investigating RISC-V as a means to distance themselves from U.S. chipmakers.

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