June 25, 2020

Another Chinese school dodges US software export controls, as Beihang University gets MATLAB engineering program

Source: South China Morning Post

Journalist: Linda Lew

The US government slapped sanctions on Beijing Aeronautics and Astronautics University almost 20 years ago, alleging it was linked to the military and could contribute to missile proliferation, according to the Bureau of Industry and Security. But that has not stopped the college from buying American engineering software on the US Department of Commerce's sanctions list.

According to online tender documents obtained by the South China Morning Post, the institution, known as Beihang University, used third parties in China to download a product known as MATLAB, a leading programming language used in engineering modelling and simulation. Developed by US firm MathWorks, it has uses in making semiconductors. Beihang also has a MATLAB course listed on its webpage.

Besides MATLAB, Beihang obtained other US software including Adobe’s Creative Cloud by using third-party vendors, in what international trade lawyers describe as a common practice to evade US sanctions. Organisations on the US Entity List are barred from access to regulated items, such as software, unless an export licence is granted.

Read the full article and more in The South China Morning Post.


  • Elizabeth Rosenberg

    Former Senior Fellow and Director, Energy, Economics and Security Program

    Elizabeth Rosenberg is a former Senior Fellow and Director of the Energy, Economics, and Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. In this capacity, she publ...