US Tech Sanctions Impact Software Usage on Chinese Campus

The US announced Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT) and 6 other Chinese universities and research centers had been included by the US Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) in its “entity list” due to these organizations’ “alleged military activities”. By June, these universities found their bread and butter software Matlab no longer in service. Currently, there are a total of 13 Chinese universities / research centers under this status; Beihang University (Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics) and Northern-western Polytechnical University have been on the list for the longest, at nearly 20 years. The Matlab is currently used by 3m+ engineers around the world. Some Chinese students have posted messages on Chinese social media to express how they are “proud” to be victims of this “technology sanction” and treated it as a symbol of their university’s strength. They see it as part of a promotion method to attract patriotic students in 2020. One Chinese software brand claimed that they would be able to achieve 70% of the functions of Matlab in the next 6 months; however, most users are skeptical about such a claim. Sina News listed out 15+ softwares that are widely used by STEM students and researchers, most of them are made in the US, France and Germany. 

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