South Korea Talks to US on Chip Curbs As Waivers Near Expiry


South Korea has sought clarity from the United States on chip export curbs to China with waivers for its two biggest chipmakers set to expire next month.

South Korean Industry Minister Bang Moon-kyu met with US Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves on Friday with an appeal to resolve uncertainties regarding chip export controls and subsidies for chip investment.

Top South Korean chipmakers Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix currently have permits to import US chip-making equipment into China, where they have extensive production facilities.


Also on AF: US Moves to Block China Benefitting From $52bn Chips Funds


Samsung has NAND flash memory production in China’s Xian, while SK Hynix has DRAM chip production in Wuxi and NAND Flash production in Dalian. The companies together control nearly 70% of global DRAM and 50% of NAND flash markets as at June-end, according to data from TrendForce.

A year-long US waiver has allowed the South Korean pair to supply equipment for their Chinese chip production facilities without additional licensing requirements.

Meanwhile, the US has not announced how or whether the waiver may be extended when it expires in October, or any conditions which would further affect the firms’ production plans in China.

In March, the US Department of Commerce also imposed guard rails for semiconductor firms applying for billions of dollars in subsidies under the CHIPS Act.

Those guard rails include limiting expansion of chip manufacturing in China for 10 years after winning funding.

Samsung, which is building a chip plant in Texas to begin shipping in late 2024, has completed the main application for US subsidies and could hear the result by year-end, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Bang has sought “active cooperation” from the US Department of Commerce to resolve issues relating to export controls, South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a statement without elaborating.

Analysts expect Washington to announce further details on the matter in the near future.

In June, the Wall Street Journal reported that the US Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security, Alan Estevez, had informed members of the Semiconductor Industry Association that Washington planned to extend the previously granted waivers.

Estevez had told the powerful US chip trade and lobby group that the Joe Biden-government would also allow South Korean and Taiwanese chipmakers to operate and expand their current Chinese chip facilities ‘without worry of pushback’.


  • Reuters with additional inputs from Vishakha Saxena


Also read:

South Korea Asks US to Review China Curbs in Chips Act Funding

Threat of More Chip Curbs Spurs Warnings on China Innovation

ASML to Ship Top Tech to China Even as Dutch Chip Ban Starts

China Curbs Mean Permanent Loss of Opportunities for US, Nvidia Says

Huawei’s Chip Breakthrough ‘May Spur Tougher US Tech Curbs’

China Plans $40bn Bonanza for Chips After Huawei Breakthrough

China Offering Millions to Foreign-Trained Chip, Tech Talents



Vishakha Saxena

Vishakha Saxena is the Multimedia and Social Media Editor at Asia Financial. She has been working as a digital journalist since 2013, and is an experienced writer and multimedia producer. As a stock market trader and investor, she is keenly interested in economy, emerging markets and the intersections of finance and society. You can tweet to her @saxenavishakha

Recent Posts

China’s PBOC Has Room for More Reserve Ratio Cuts: Ex-Official

A former People's Bank of China official predicted on Sunday that policymakers would implement a…

22 mins ago

Wealthy Families, Private Firms Moving Billions Out of China – NYT

Rich Chinese families and private companies have taken or sent an estimated $50 billion a…

1 hour ago

Indonesia, ADB, Owners to Shut Coal Power Station Early

Jakarta and the Asian Development Bank have agreed to a deal that will see a…

2 hours ago

COP28: Over 110 Nations Join Deal to Triple Renewable Energy

The pledge by over half the world's countries to triple renewable energy was perhaps the…

1 day ago

Toyota and Honda Announce Cuts to Car Production in China

Honda Motor said on Saturday it was dismissing about 900 workers at its JV with…

1 day ago

US Pledges $3 Billion for Green Climate Fund at COP28

The US will give $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund, sources said Saturday. The…

1 day ago