China’s Cyberspace Administration has designated Micron Technology, the largest memory chip manufacturer in the United States, as a significant national security risk. In a recent statement (source), the regulatory body cautioned against the use of Micron products in key infrastructure projects, citing “serious network security risks” posed by the company’s offerings.
The move marks China’s first major action against an American chip maker, further heightening tensions between Beijing and Washington. While the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) did not disclose specific details regarding the identified risks or the Micron products involved, the implications for the world’s second-largest economy are significant.
A spokesperson for Micron confirmed to the BBC (source) that the company had received the CAC’s notice regarding the review of its products sold in China. Micron stated that it is currently assessing the conclusions and considering its next steps, expressing a willingness to engage in further discussions with Chinese authorities.
In response to China’s action, the US government expressed its intent to collaborate with allies in addressing what it perceives as “distortions of the memory chip market caused by China’s actions.” (source). The escalating semiconductor war between the two nations has witnessed a series of countermeasures, including blacklisting Chinese tech firms, restricting the flow of advanced processors, and imposing bans on certain forms of assistance to China’s chip industry.
According to Reuters (source), industry analysts from Jefferies anticipate a limited impact on Micron due to the company’s primary customer base in China consisting of consumer electronics manufacturers, rather than infrastructure suppliers. They emphasized that Micron’s revenue in China is mainly derived from consumer electronics sectors like smartphones and computers, with a relatively smaller presence in server components such as DRAM and NAND products.
The US Commerce Department dismissed China’s conclusions as lacking factual basis and pledged to continue efforts to mitigate disruptions within the industry in collaboration with its allies.
China’s actions against Micron Technology serve as a stark reminder of the intensifying technology rivalry between the world’s largest economies, with profound implications for global supply chains, innovation, and security.