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Attention on possible impact on Korean chipmakers by China’s Micron ban

Attention on possible impact on Korean chipmakers by China’s Micron ban

Posted May. 24, 2023 07:56,   

Updated May. 24, 2023 07:56


With China’s ban on Micron Technology, a U.S. memory chipmaker, the world's eyes are on South Korea’s move. While the U.S. pressures South Korea to join economic retaliation against China, China squeezes South Korea to move in the opposite direction, meaning not to follow a U.S.-led coalition against China.

Mark Li, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein, said that China needs to rely upon other chipmakers such as Samsung Electronics, SK hynix, and KIOXIA Corporation to replace Micron, in light of the competitiveness of China’s memory chip producers that are currently unable to match the demands. “However, these are all businesses of U.S allies and are highly dependent on U.S. chip-equipment suppliers. It is unlikely for these chipmakers to disregard the U.S. request and exploit China’s ban on Micron as an opportunity,” the analyst wrote.

Yet, the South Korean government is neither denying nor confirm‎ing whether the U.S. government asked for cooperation. A high-ranking official of the Korean Presidential Office said in a telephone interview with The Dong-A Ilbo that it remains unclear as to the meaning and scope of the “core information and critical infrastructure facilities” mentioned by the Chinese government in imposing sales restrictions on Micron. “We will determine our position after carefully examining our relationship with the U.S., with the economic and security aspects taken into account,” the official at the Presidential Office said.

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