China Investigating Micron for Cybersecurity Concerns and Advising Japan to Avoid US Chip Export Restrictions

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China’s cybersecurity watchdog, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), recently initiated an investigation into U.S.-based memory chip maker Micron Technology. This move reflects escalating tensions between China and the U.S., as the latter has imposed restrictions targeting Chinese tech companies over security concerns.

Micron has denied any disruption to business operations in China, but the CAC still looks to establish security for the key information infrastructure supply chain and prevent any potential network security risks.

Separately, Japan has announced plans to impose export restrictions on 23 types of chip-manufacturing equipment. Most likely because of their sensitivity to the U.S.-China conflict, the regulations avoid mentioning China by name, though they could still adversely affect the trade relations between Japan and China.

The Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang warned Japan not to back U.S. restrictions, while also expressing that the harsh rules only pushed China to become more self-sufficient. Companies in the Netherlands and Japan could face negative impacts due to these regulations, as firms like ASML have to apply for licenses in order to ship the most advanced immersion DUV systems.

Furthermore, Japanese chip-making businesses such as Tokyo Electron, Screen Holdings, Advantest Corp and Nikon will feel the pinch here as well, as they face uncertainties from the impending regulations.

About Micron Technology

Micron Technology is an American semiconductor manufacturer based in Boise, Idaho. It is one of the leading memory and storage solutions providers. It produces DRAM, SDRAM, NAND flash memory and NOR flash memory, which are used in computers, servers and other electronic devices. It also makes Solid-state drives (SSDs) and modules, as well as other components.

About Qin Gang

Qin Gang is the current Chinese Foreign Minister. He was appointed to this role in 2018. Before that, he had served in the Chinese government since 1989 and held various positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Beijing Foreign Studies University and has a master’s degree in International Relations from China Foreign Affairs University.