China investigates foreign chipmakers

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(FinancialPress) — China has launched a probe on several of its market‘s foreign providers. Samsung was the first chipmaker to confirm the news, stating that it is currently under investigation by Chinese authorities.

The investigation is aimed at chipmakers based in South Korea and the US. Besides Samsung, it has reached the US‘ Micron Technology (MU)  and South Korea‘s SK Hynix. The process is in charge of China‘s State Administration for Market Regulation office.

The news was first broken by the Wall Street Journal. 

Samsung (SSNLF) stated it received government investigators on its premises on May 31. The company declared that they have, and will continue to, cooperate with the pertaining authorities.

Shares for all 3 companies took hits during premarket trading, with Samsung losing 0.4% in Seoul, SK Hynix dropping 1.8% and Micron going down 0.8%.

Most of China‘s semiconductors are outsourced to foreign companies. The parts are used for all sorts of electronics, ranging from smartphones to cars.

China is trying to move away from its importer economy on that end, and is looking to bolster domestic chip manufacturing. It also attempted to buy stakes in American chipmakers twice – with both attempts being blocked by the US government.

The background

The Asian nation is part of the infamous “trade wars“ which also involves the US, Canada and Mexico. For China, the most notorious breaking point was its smartphone making company ZTE being blocked from purchasing technology from US-based companies by the Trump administration. The ban came after it was revealed that they had broken a bilateral agreement regarding sanctions imposed by the US on Middle Eastern countries.

Both Micron and SK Hynix received requests for comment. Neither was responded. 


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Ruben is a South American writer who focuses on the state of the cryptocurrency, cannabis and tech industries worldwide.

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