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: 70832

Reported Deaths: 885
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah15875232
Washington997499
Marion9017137
Clackamas585377
Umatilla430149
Lane420241
Jackson364428
Malheur237942
Deschutes222814
Yamhill164816
Linn138522
Polk116816
Douglas91217
Jefferson80811
Union7715
Benton7667
Klamath7604
Morrow6517
Lincoln61315
Wasco51919
Josephine5104
Columbia4783
Coos4182
Hood River3941
Clatsop3510
Baker2723
Crook2176
Grant1341
Curry1292
Tillamook1230
Lake1171
Harney961
Wallowa713
Sherman230
Gilliam220
Wheeler30
Unassigned00
Eugene
Overcast
32° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 27°
Corvallis
Overcast
36° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 31°
Roseburg
Overcast
35° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 35°
North Bend
Clear
36° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 29°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events