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Micron's Chinese DRAM antagonist hit with US export boycott

Chip maker Fujian Jinhua labelled 'national security' risk

The US department of commerce has issued an edict that effectively bans American companies exporting technology to Chinese DRAM maker Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Company.

The order was issued on Monday, US time.

The Chinese company was caught up in the legal battle between Micron and UMC. Micron went to the federal district court of northern California to accuse UMC of hooking up with Jinhua to build a DRAM lab, and headhunting Micron staff (who brought intellectual property with them, Micron alleged) to run it.

UMC counter-sued in China, and in July 2018, the Fuzhou Intermediate People's Court blocked Micron from the Middle Kingdom.

The department of commerce didn't directly mention those spats in its decision, but did accuse Jinhua of pinching US tech for its plant, saying "in light of the likely US-origin technology", the factory "threatens the long-term economic viability of US suppliers of these essential components of US military systems".

The company, the department said, therefore "poses a significant risk of becoming involved in activities that are contrary to the national security interests of the United States".

By adding the company to the Export Administration Regulations "entity list", the US commerce department makes "all exports, re-exports, software, and technology" to Jinhua subject to a licence, and applications for that licence "will be reviewed with a presumption of denial". ®

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