Type to search

Korean Firms Likely to See Cap on Advanced Chips in China: US

US government is in “deep dialogue” with chipmakers Samsung and SK Hynix, while seeking to impede China’s ability “to threaten us collectively”, top Senior Commerce official says

The US is involved in talks with Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, top memory chipmakers, on limiting advanced chips to China.
South Korea's proposal comes after other countries, such as Taiwan, announced plans to bolster the domestic chip sectors. Photo: Reuters


South Korean chip companies are likely to face a US cap that limits the level of advanced semiconductors they can make in China.

That forecast came from Alan Estevez, the US Commerce Department‘s under secretary for industry and security.

In October, South Korea’s Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, the world’s top memory chipmakers, received a one-year reprieve from US export restrictions aimed at thwarting Beijing’s technological ambitions and blocking its military advances.

“What will likely be is a cap on the levels that they can grow to in China,” said Estevez, when asked what would happen after the waiver ended.


China’s YMTC Forcing Laid Off Staff to Give Up Homes – Nikkei



Estevez who oversees restrictions on tech exports to China made the comments on Thursday during a forum hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank.

“If you’re at whatever layer of NAND, we will stop it somewhere in that range,” Estevez said, referring to a flash memory product manufactured by Samsung and SK. He added that the US government was in deep dialogue with the South Korean chipmakers.

“We work with them to ensure that we aren’t going to harm our allies’ companies. At the same time, we’re going to impede the Chinese capability of building capabilities that are going to threaten us collectively,” he said.

Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix were not immediately available for comment.

Samsung and SK Hynix, which control about half of the global NAND flash memory chip market, have invested heavily in China in recent decades to produce chips that are vital to customers including tech giants Apple, and Amazon.

Earlier, an American official acknowledged the existence of a deal with Japan and the Netherlands for those countries to impose new restrictions on exports of chipmaking tools to China.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard





Japan, Netherlands to Join US in Enforcing China Chip Curbs


US-China Rivalry May Spur Decoupling of Chip Sector – BBC


ASML’s Taiwan Expansion Signals Chip Sector’s Next Big Leap


Nvidia Offers New Chip to China That Meets US Limits


Chips Banned by US in Big Demand from Chinese Researchers


Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.


AF China Bond