China bans use of Micron chips for ‘critical infrastructure’

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The Cyberspace Administration of China said on Sunday that products from US memory chipmaker Micron Technology do not meet its security rating. With this, the CAC prohibits the use of the chips by operators of ‘critical Chinese infrastructure’.

The Cyberspace Administration of China concluded in its investigation that Micron’s products would pose ‘serious risks’ to network security, writes the Chinese government body on its website. For example, the company’s chips would pose “significant security risks” in the supply chain of China’s information infrastructure, which in turn would jeopardize China’s national security. The CAC does not specifically address the risks it claims to have identified.

With the CAC’s ruling, “critical information infrastructure operators” are no longer allowed to purchase Micron products. This may include the telecom sector and financial institutions such as state banks, writes news agency Reuters. The CAC does not mention specific sectors in its statement. The CAC also does not say which Micron products the ban applies to.

In March, China’s regulator said it a security investigation had begun to the products Micron sells in the country. Micron previously said it would cooperate with the Chinese government’s investigation. According to Reuters, Micron has received the CAC’s communication and is looking forward to “further talks with Chinese authorities.” Sales in China account for a quarter of Micron’s sales.

At the end of last year, the United States introduced far-reaching export restrictions on the export of chips and chip production equipment to Chinese companies. In December, YMTC, a Chinese manufacturer of memory chips, was placed on the entity list. As a result, that company is also subject to such export restrictions. YMTC competes with the American Micron, one of the three largest memory manufacturers in the world, next to South Korean chipmakers Samsung and SK hynix. According to Financial Times sources, the US recently asked South Korea not to absorb lost sales of Micron in China in the event of a sales ban.

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