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China hits back, bans chips from US company

Micron is a major supplier of RAM, storage, and other important tech products. But China just banned it.

Published onMay 22, 2023

HUAWEI P50 Pro home screen in hand 2
Kris Carlon / Android Authority
  • China has banned US memory chip company Micron from selling chips in the country.
  • Micron produces a wide variety of chips such as RAM, DRAM, and storage.

The Chinese tech sector has been subjected to US trade sanctions in recent years, with the US barring the sale of various tech to Chinese chipmakers, smartphone brands, and more.

Now, the Chinese government has banned major US memory chipmaker Micron from selling chips to domestic companies (h/t: Reuters), citing a failed security review.

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) issued a statement on Sunday:

The review found that Micron’s products have relatively serious potential network security issues, which pose a major security risk to China’s key information infrastructure supply chain and affect China’s national security.

“According to the ‘Network Security Law’ and other laws and regulations, operators of critical information infrastructure in China should stop purchasing Micron products,” the CAC statement added.

The regulator didn’t provide any details regarding the claimed network security issues.

“We firmly oppose restrictions that have no basis in fact,” a US Commerce Department spokesperson was quoted as saying by Reuters.

What does this mean for Chinese tech?

Micron is a major producer of memory and storage products in PCs, smartphones, and other consumer gadgets. These products include RAM, DRAM, and UFS storage.

There are alternative memory and storage suppliers such as Samsung Semiconductor and SK Hynix, but we still have to wonder how this ban could affect Chinese consumer technology brands.

The news comes a while after the US instituted wide bans on tech sales to various Chinese industries. This included bans on advanced chipmaking equipment, high-performance chips used for AI, and more. These recent US bans also come after the US slapped HUAWEI with sanctions for unspecified security issues in 2019.

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