SK hynix Exempted from U.S. Export Controls for 1 Year | Be Korea-savvy

SK hynix Exempted from U.S. Export Controls for 1 Year

This file photo provided by SK hynix Inc. on Feb. 1, 2021, shows its M16 fab in Icheon, south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

This file photo provided by SK hynix Inc. on Feb. 1, 2021, shows its M16 fab in Icheon, south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, Oct. 12 (Korea Bizwire) SK hynix Inc., the world’s second-largest memory chip maker, said Wednesday it has been temporarily exempted from the United States’ export control measures and is allowed to continue normal production activities in China for one year.

The U.S. Department of Commerce allowed the chipmaker and its business partners to “engage in activities necessary to maintain current production of integrated circuits in China for one year without further licensing requirements,” the company said in a statement.

The company’s discussions with the U.S. government “led to an approval to supply equipment and items needed for development and production of DRAM semiconductors in Chinese facilities without additional licensing requirements,” it said.

Last week, the Joe Biden administration announced a set of measures that restrict some exports of advanced semiconductor manufacturing equipment to companies in China, in an intensifying rivalry between the two nations.

On Tuesday, Reuters reported that U.S. chip equipment maker KLA Corp. would stop providing supplies and services to its customers in China, including SK hynix, to comply with the new regulations.

The sweeping export curbs, among other things, demand companies receive a license for equipment exports to Chinese firms that make advanced chips, such as DRAM chips that are 18 nanometers and below, NAND flash chips with 128 layers or more, and logic chips 14 nm and below.

The move, seen as a scheme to slow Beijing’s technological and military advances, had been feared to disrupt operations of South Korean chipmakers, as they must undergo a case-by-case review by Washington to get authorized for business transactions in China.

SK hynix currently operates multiple plants in China, including one in the eastern city of Wuxi.

The latest U.S. authorization allows the company to smoothly bring in chip equipment to China to produce semiconductors as scheduled and to supply them to customers without disruptions, it said.

“Along with the Korean government, we will continue our consultations with the Department of Commerce and make our utmost efforts to operate our plants in China in a stable way, while continuing compliance with applicable laws and regulations,” it said.

Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s largest memory chip maker, is also said to have been given the same temporary exemption, according to sources.

Samsung was not immediately available for comment.

The South Korean foreign ministry confirmed the exemptions given to SK hynix and Samsung Electronics, saying the ministry has been closely discussing the issue with the U.S.

“Together with related government bodies, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been in close consultation with the U.S. so as to be able to minimize the impact of the latest U.S. export control measures on the local industry,” a ministry official said.


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