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Shares in China’s biggest chip maker plunged on Monday following weekend media reports that Washington has imposed export controls on the company, the latest salvo in the battle for technological dominance over Beijing.

In a major blow for China’s advanced tech ambitions, the US Commerce Department reportedly ordered companies to seek permission before selling equipment to Semiconductor Manufacturing International┬áCorp (SMIC).

Equipment sold to the Chinese company posed an “unacceptable risk” of being diverted to “military end use” according to a letter sent to major US computer chip firms that was seen by The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times.

News of the letter, which was first reported on Saturday, hit SMIC’s share price in Hong Kong Monday morning with the company opening 7.64 percent lower at HK$17.10.

Advanced tech has become one of the many battlefronts that have opened up in the last few years as relations between

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