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Software Engineering

China’s semiconductor fightback, and New York’s controversial AI law

China has been on the receiving end of semiconductor export restrictions for years. Now, it’s striking back with the same tactic. 

On July 3, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced that the export of gallium and germanium, two elements used in producing chips, solar panels, and fiber optics, will soon be heavily restricted. Exports of the materials will need to be approved by the government, and Western companies that rely on them could have a hard time securing a supply. 

Even though the news immediately sent the price of gallium and germanium up, the curbs are not likely to hit the US as hard as American export restrictions have hit China. Zeyi Yang, our China reporter, explains why. Read the full story.

Zeyi’s story is part of MIT Technology Review Explains, our section in which our writers untangle the complex, messy world of technology to help you understand what’s coming next. Check out the rest of our explainers on everything from lab-grown meat to how to log off.

Why everyone is mad about New York’s AI hiring law

Last week, a law about AI and hiring went into effect in New York City, and everyone is up in arms about it. It’s one of the first AI laws in the country, and so the way it plays out will offer clues about how AI policy and debate might take shape in other cities. 

AI hiring regulation is part of the AI Act in Europe, and other states in the US are considering similar bills to New York’s. But the law has been met with significant controversy—with public interest groups and civil rights advocates saying it isn’t enforceable and extensive enough. Read the full story.


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