The US is already ramping up pressure on Chinese companies to cooperate with sanctions against Russia, despite China being critical of such sanctions.
The international community is implementing sanctions in an effort to bring a peaceful resolution to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in lieu of boots on the ground. One possible impediment to that strategy is China, which provides up to a third of Russia’s semiconductors, and roughly half of its computers and smartphones, potentially giving Russia an important lifeline in its attempts to combat sanctions.
According to Bloomberg, however, the US will likely use export control rules in an effort to force Chinese companies to help with the sanctions, companies like Lenovo. The plan is similar to how the US cut Huawei off from chips made by TSMC, using export rules to prohibit Huawei from benefiting from any technology derived from US intellectual property. As Bloomberg points out, any company that ignores those export rules does so at its own peril, risking being cut off from US-based tech itself, or having its executives prosecuted.
China has made no secret of its disagreement with the international community over sanctions against Russia. With Huawei as a recent example of how poorly things can go for a company that relies on US-based tech, it’s likely many Chinese companies will get on board with restricting tech exports to Russia.