US asks South Korea not to fill chip shortfalls in China: report

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol is visiting the US on Monday for a summit with President Joe Biden.

A smartphone with a displayed Micron logo is placed on a computer motherboard in this illustration taken March 6, 2023.
China's cyberspace regulator is conducting a security review of US chipmaker Micron [File: Dado Ruvic/Reuters]

The United States has asked South Korea to urge its chipmakers not to fill any market gap in China if Beijing bans memory chipmaker Micron Technology from selling chips, the Financial Times has reported.

The news comes ahead of South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol’s visit to the US on Monday for a summit with President Joe Biden.

Yoon’s April 24-29 trip will be the first state visit to the US by a South Korean leader since 2011 and will mark the 70th anniversary of the countries’ alliance.

Washington asked Seoul to encourage Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix to hold back from boosting sales to China if Micron is banned as a result of an investigation by Beijing, the FT reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the situation.

China’s cyberspace regulator in March said it would conduct a security review of Micron’s products sold in the country. The chipmaker said last month it was cooperating with the Chinese government, and its operations in the country were normal.

The White House did not comment on the FT report but added that the Biden and Yoon administrations have made efforts to coordinate investments in the semiconductor sector, secure critical technologies, and address economic coercion.

The US has imposed a series of export controls on chipmaking technology to China for fear it could be used to produce chips for military applications. It has blacklisted a number of China’s largest chip firms, including Micron rival Yangtze Memory Technologies Co Ltd.

Source: Reuters