Sun, Jun 03, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Micron reveals visit by Chinese regulatory body

COSTLY IMPORTS:China is the biggest semiconductor maker, but owns very little of the world’s memorychip production, leading to a bill larger than for oil imports


Micron Technology Inc, the largest US maker of computer memory chips, said that Chinese regulatory authority representatives visited its offices in that nation, potentially opening another front in a growing trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

“Micron confirms that China’s State Administration for Market Regulation authorities visited Micron’s China sales offices on May 31 seeking certain information,” the Boise, Idaho-based company said in an e-mailed statement on Friday. “Micron is cooperating with Chinese officials.”

China is the largest maker of semiconductors, but is not home to even one of the top 10 producers of the crucial electronic components.

The memorychip market has been increasingly concentrated in the hands of Micron and its two South Korean rivals, Samsung Electronics Co and SK Hynix Inc, which have enjoyed record profits from the devices that are essential to everything from supercomputers to smartphones.

Chinese media reported that Samsung and SK Hynix also received visits from local regulators seeking information. The visits might have been sparked by concern about continued price increases for memory chips, reports said.

Micron got about half of its sales from China last year, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.

China has been spending heavily on attempts to boost its domestic supply of semiconductors and lessen a bill that has exceeded the cost of oil imports.

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