US targets Malaysian chip industry

Kuala Lumpur-based Jatronics has been accused of supplying parts necessary to sustain Moscow’s war in Ukraine.

US efforts to stop Russia’s war machine in Ukraine have trapped an unexpected target far from Moscow: Malaysia’s multi-billion dollar semiconductor industry.

Malaysian semiconductor manufacturer Jatronics SDN BHD was among nearly 300 organisations saanctioned by Washington last month for alleged links to Russian military suppliers.

According to Russian customs data, Jatronics is already sanctioned by Western governments for alleged links to Russia’s defence industry, one of the Russian companies that Moscow has supplied since its large-scale invasion in February 2022.

US officials do not say with certainty that the components shipped by Jatronics were used in military equipment, but a US State Department spokesperson said, “Jatronics supplied these components to Russia-based companies that supply Russia’s military-industrial complex.”

According to data shared with Al Jazeera, Jatronics made more than 50 deliveries worth more than $3 million to companies in Russia between April 2022 and September 2023.

These materials include microchips, semiconductors and silicon wafers, the raw material used to make semiconductors.

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