October 13, 2022 12:59
Washington has granted a one-year waiver to Samsung and SK Hynix of its protectionist ban on exports of chip equipment to their plants in China.
The U.S. Commerce Department on Oct. 7 announced export restrictions on chip equipment made with U.S. technologies to chip makers in China, making it mandatory to get separate approval for shipments of equipment and technologies for manufacturing 18 nm or smaller DRAM chips, 128 gb or bigger NAND flash chips, and 16 nm or smaller logic chips.
That means Chinese companies are prevented from importing American equipment, and foreign businesses in China have to undergo screening for each case of equipment import.
But the department told Samsung and SK Hynix on Tuesday that they can be exempt for one year because they are upgrading chip production lines in China.
"It seems that the U.S. gave the one-year waiver to the Korean companies in the belief that it would otherwise be difficult to get cooperation from Korea in its chip technology war against China," an industry insider speculated.
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