Micron Chip Sales Banned In China

Micron Chip Sales Banned In China

News of the ruling were first reported by United Microelectronics Corporation, a technology firm based in Taiwan, which had filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Micron.

China placed a temporary ban on chip sales from Micron's Chinese subsidiaries, blocking the $59 billion company from the largest semiconductor market in the world, after a Chinese court ruled in favor of United Microelectronics' and Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit's January complaint that Micron infringed on patents in China protecting memory storage and other products.

UMC filed its complaint against Micron in January, saying the US firm had infringed on three of its patents covering its SSD, graphics memory card and DDR4 SDRAM products.

Micron is disappointed with the ruling by the Fuzhou Intermediate People's Court.

"UMC is pleased with today's decision", Jason Wang, the company's co-president, said in a statement. That came a month after the US company filed a lawsuit in California alleging Jinhua and UMC stole Micron's trade secrets at its Taiwan plant.

UMC, a contract chip manufacturer, plans to list its China operations on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

The Chinese ban on Micron targeted its products sold through retail outlets and represented only a small portion of the chipmaker's revenue. In fact, Micron derived half of its fiscal 2017 net sales from the country.

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As of 11:42 a.m., shares of UMC had gained 0.56 percent to NT$18.05 (US$0.58), with 81.87 million shares changing hands, outperforming the broader market index, which was down 0.12 percent at 10,702.91.

Other chipmakers also gained. "This is an opportunity for SK Hynix and Samsung, because the banned products are not what the Chinese can make on their own".

Others believe the ban will be short-lived.

China is escalating the trade war with the USA while making an announcement of a ban on the sale of products of Micron, a United States semiconductor company, in China.

According to Wang, Micron now supplies SSD modules to Alibaba, China's largest e-retailer; Huawei, the world's third-largest smartphone maker; Tencent Holdings, a Chinese conglomerate providing internet and telecommunications services; and Baidu, China's largest search engine.

Boise, Idaho-based Micron has been hoovering up profit as demand for memory chips used in everything from smartphones and servers to thermostats and cars outstrips supply.

The unnamed South Korean industry insider also added that China already has already set South Korean chipmakers as its next target.

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