China’s cyberspace regulator, the Cyberspace Administration of China, has announced that products from the largest US memory chip manufacturer, Micron Technology, pose “serious network security risks” and will be banned from use in critical infrastructure projects within the country.
This move marks China’s first major action against a US chip maker as tensions between Beijing and Washington continue to rise.
The escalating dispute between the US and China over crucial technology has prompted a series of measures imposed by Washington on Beijing’s chip-making industry, accompanied by multi-billion-dollar investments to boost the American semiconductor sector.
In response, the CAC released a statement declaring, “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 specific risks identified and the affected Micron products were not disclosed.
Micron, in response to the announcement, confirmed that it had received the CAC’s notice and was currently evaluating the conclusion and considering its next steps.
A Micron spokesperson stated, “We look forward to continuing to engage in discussions with Chinese authorities.”
The US government expressed its opposition to the ban, asserting that it would collaborate with allies to address the “distortions of the memory chip market caused by China’s actions.”
A spokesperson from the US Commerce Department added, “We firmly oppose restrictions that have no basis in fact,” emphasizing that China’s recent actions were inconsistent with its claims of market openness and transparent regulation.
The CAC’s decision coincided with the G7 leaders’ joint statement in Japan, which criticized China, including its employment of “economic coercion.”
US President Joe Biden, addressing the issue, stated that G7 nations were seeking to “de-risk and diversify” their relationship with China, emphasizing the importance of supply chain diversification.
Micron’s CEO, Sanjay Mehrotra, who attended the G7 summit in Hiroshima, joined a group of business leaders discussing these concerns.