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China hits back at Biden, bans US-based Micron over 'national security risks'

IANS | May 22, 2023 12:09 PM

BEIJING: In a tit-for-tat move against the US, China has banned the sale of US-based Micron Technology's chips in the country, citing "national security risks", the media reported on Monday.

The Chinese government said that Micro products will be banned for sale to the country's key information infrastructure, as the US continues to tighten control on China-based tech companies, reports South China Morning Post.

The US Commerce Department replied to the ban, saying it "firmly opposes restrictions that have no basis in fact".

"We will engage directly with PRC (People's Republic of China) authorities to detail our position and clarify their action, " the department said in a statement

"We also will engage with key allies and partners to ensure we are closely coordinated to address distortions of the memory chip market caused by China's actions, " the US Commerce Department added.

The decision came after Chinese authorities launched a probe into Micron's products on the grounds of national security.

Micron said in a statement that it looks forward to continuing to engage in discussions with Chinese authorities.

China's move against Micron is seen as retaliation against the US chip company after it lobbied Washington to take measures to restrict China's access to advanced chip technologies, the report noted.

In October last year, the Joe Biden administration tightened exports of advanced US semiconductor technologies to China, including chip making equipment and design software.

Recent reports claimed that the Joe Biden administration is about to announce new restrictions on US companies' investments in China.

According to noted analyst Christopher Wood of Jefferies: "The word is that Biden aims to sign an executive order in coming weeks that will limit investment in China by American businesses. The executive order will reportedly cover semiconductors, artificial intelligence and quantum computing."

Micron said last week it will invest up to 500 billion yen ($3.6 billion) in Japan over the next few years, with close support from the Japanese government, to enable the next wave of end-to-end technology innovation such as rapidly emerging generative artificial intelligence (AI) applications.

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