According to reports from various industry sources, the Chinese government has begun the process of picking a national computer chip instruction set architecture (ISA). This ISA would have to be used for any projects backed with government money — which, in a communist country such as China, is a fairly long list of public and private enterprises and institutions, including China Mobile, the largest wireless carrier in the world. The primary reason for this move is to lessen China’s reliance on western intellectual property.
The other option, of course, is developing a brand new ISA — a daunting task, considering you have to create an entire software (compiler, developer, apps) and hardware (CPU, chipset, motherboard) ecosystem from scratch. But, there are benefits to building your own CPU architecture. China, for example, could design an ISA (or microarchicture) with silicon-level monitoring and censorship — and, of course, a ubiquitous, always-open backdoor that can be used by Chinese intelligence agencies. The Great Firewall of China is fairly easy to circumvent — but what if China built a DNS and IP address blacklist into the hardware itself?