US considers crackdown on Chinese memory chip makers

The U.S. is reportedly considering to limit shipments of chipmaking equipment to China, including to Yangtze Memory Technologies, as a part of the on-going drive to protect American companies and checkmate China’s semi-conductor industry.

Yangtze Memory Technologies is under investigation by the Commerce Department over whether it violated U.S. export controls by selling chips to Chinese telecoms company Huawei. Other players like Intel, which is manufacturing memory chips with 144 layers in China, may also be affected though it is unclear as of now to what extent, a report said.

If the proposal materialses , it could affect South Korean chipmakers like Samsung Electronics with factories in China while barring the shipment of U.S. chipmaking equipment to factories in China that manufacture advanced NAND chips, Beijing News Net reported.

NAND chips store data in devices, such as smartphones and personal computers, and at data centers for companies such as Amazon, Facebook and Google.

U.S. officials could ban the export of tools to China used to make NAND chips with more than 128 layers, which are produced primarily by Silicon Valley-based LAM Research Corp and Applied Materials, the report stated quoting sources which were not identified.

When asked, a spokesperson for the U.S. Commerce Department, which oversees export controls, merely said that the Biden administration is “focused on impairing China’s efforts to manufacture advanced semiconductors”. And added this is to address significant national security risks to the U.S.###