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South Korea Asked Not to Fill Chip Gap if China Bans Micron

Washington has asked Seoul to encourage Samsung and SK Hynix to hold back from boosting China sales if Micron is banned as a result of an ongoing investigation

Micron is the first U.S. chipmaker to be targeted by Beijing after a series of export controls by Washington on certain American components and chip making tools to block them being used to advance China's military capabilities.
Micron is the only US-based player in the global market for memory chips. It is the first US chipmaker to be targeted by Beijing after export controls were imposed last October. Photo: Reuters


The United States has asked South Korea to urge its chipmakers not to fill any market gap in China if Beijing bans memory chipmaker Micron from selling chips, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

The news comes ahead of South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol’s visit to the US on Monday for a summit with President Joe Biden.

Yoon’s April 24-29 trip will be the first state visit to the US by a South Korean leader since 2011. It will mark the 70th anniversary of the alliance between the two countries.


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China’s cyberspace regulator is currently conducting a security review of US-based Micron’s products sold in the country, amid an ongoing chip war between the two countries. The regulator said the move was aimed at protecting supply chains and national security.

Micron has said it is cooperating with the Chinese government, and its operations in the country are normal. However, Washington has asked Seoul to encourage Samsung and SK Hynix to hold back from boosting sales to China if Micron is banned as a result of the investigation.

The White House did not comment on the FT report, but added that the Biden and Yoon administrations have made efforts to coordinate investments in the semiconductor sector, secure critical technologies and address economic coercion.

The US has imposed a series of export controls on chipmaking technology to China for fear it could be used to produce chips for military applications. It has blacklisted a number of China’s largest chip firms, including Micron rival Yangtze Memory Technologies Co (YMTC).


  • Reuters, with additional editing by Vishakha Saxena


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Vishakha Saxena

Vishakha Saxena is the Multimedia and Social Media Editor at Asia Financial. She has worked as a digital journalist since 2013, and is an experienced writer and multimedia producer. As a trader and investor, she is keenly interested in new economy, emerging markets and the intersections of finance and society. You can write to her at [email protected]


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