China’s cyberspace regulator has declared that products from Micron Technology, the largest US memory chip maker, pose “serious network security risks” and will be banned from crucial infrastructure projects within the country. This marks China’s first major action against a US chip maker, intensifying the ongoing dispute over technology between Beijing and Washington.
The decision comes amidst a deepening row between the US and China, both vying for dominance in the global chip-making industry. The US has implemented several measures targeting China’s chip making sector, while also investing heavily in bolstering its own semiconductor industry.
The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) stated, “The review found that Micron’s products have serious network security risks, which pose significant security risks to China’s critical information infrastructure supply chain, affecting China’s national security.” However, the CAC did not provide specific details about the identified risks or the specific Micron products involved.
A spokesperson for Micron confirmed that the company had received the notice from the CAC and is evaluating its implications. They added, “We look forward to continuing to engage in discussions with Chinese authorities.”
In response, the US government expressed its opposition to the restrictions imposed by China and pledged to collaborate with its allies in addressing the “distortions of the memory chip market caused by China’s actions.” The US Commerce Department criticized China’s recent targeting of American firms, asserting that it contradicts China’s claims of market openness and a transparent regulatory framework.
China’s move follows the joint statement issued by G7 leaders, which included criticism of China’s economic coercion. US President Joe Biden emphasized the need to “de-risk and diversify” the relationship with China during the G7 summit and highlighted the importance of diversifying supply chains.
Micron’s chief executive, Sanjay Mehrotra, participated in the G7 summit, where business leaders discussed strategies to navigate the evolving relationship with China. Recently, Micron also announced a significant investment in technology development in Japan.
The ban imposed on Micron by China reflects the escalating tensions between the two superpowers, as they vie for control and dominance in the highly competitive semiconductor industry.