STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

China is investigating foreign chipmakers

Major chipmakers from South Korea and the United States are under investigation by Chinese authorities.South K...

Posted: Jun 5, 2018 10:26 AM
Updated: Jun 5, 2018 10:26 AM

Major chipmakers from South Korea and the United States are under investigation by Chinese authorities.

South Korea's Samsung and SK Hynix and their US rival Micron said that investigators from China's State Administration for Market Regulation visited their offices in China on May 31.

A spokesman for SK Hynix said the investigation is over suspected price fixing. Samsung and Micron -- which is based in Boise, Idaho -- did not comment on the subject of the investigation.

The companies said they are cooperating with authorities.

The Chinese government hasn't commented on the investigation. The State Administration for Market Regulation on Tuesday referred a request for comment to the Commerce Ministry, which in turn referred the request back to the regulator.

Bernstein analyst Mark Newman said Beijing may be worried about the rising price of memory chips.

"[The price increase] is causing some concern from China as their domestic [smartphone] handset makers get hurt by the high prices," Newman said.

"China may also be using this price concern as a way to put pressure on the memory makers to share their [intellectual property]," he added.

Related: How China plans to beat the U.S. at technology

China purchases an estimated 90% of its semiconductors from foreign companies for use in everything from smartphones to automobiles.

Demand in the country, which already purchases more than 60% of the world's chips, is expected to increase from $350 billion in 2016 to $500 billion by 2020, according to McKinsey.

The Chinese government wants to develop its own chip industry, and it has tried to buy stakes in US chipmakers at least twice. Both attempts were blocked by US authorities.

The country has been locked in a dispute with the United States over technology for months. The biggest flashpoint is Chinese smartphone maker ZTE, which has been banned from buying parts, including chips, from American companies.

Related: Trade war: What you missed at the weekend

The White House has said it will impose tariffs on about $50 billion worth of Chinese goods following an investigation into the country's handling of technology transfers and intellectual property.

-- Yoonjung Seo, Sherisse Pham, Serenitie Wang and Steven Jiang contributed reporting.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 156673

Reported Deaths: 2284
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah31987550
Washington21345216
Marion18579287
Clackamas13449190
Lane10343129
Jackson8525116
Umatilla769682
Deschutes600163
Yamhill379669
Linn360957
Malheur335458
Polk307744
Klamath280555
Douglas255055
Josephine238755
Benton235617
Jefferson197630
Coos154521
Union130319
Columbia127721
Wasco122126
Lincoln113720
Hood River107029
Morrow105014
Crook78018
Clatsop7786
Baker6669
Curry4316
Tillamook4222
Lake3826
Harney2776
Grant2271
Wallowa1435
Gilliam541
Sherman530
Wheeler221
Unassigned00
Eugene
Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 39°
Corvallis
Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 41°
Roseburg
Cloudy
44° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 39°
North Bend
Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 39°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events