Memory-chip makers Micron Technology, Samsung Electronics, and SK Hynix have all confirmed that they are under investigation by Chinese regulators, though they have yet to be given information on the reason for the probe.
The companies also said that the State Administration for Market Regulation had visited their China offices recently. Micron is an Idaho-based firm, whilst Samsung and SK Hynix are headquartered in Seoul.
Together, the three companies dominate the world’s DRAM (dynamic random-access memory) chip industry, a fifth of which is in China. Encouraged by recent events involving Chinese multinational technology companies, China is looking to reduce its reliance on imports of foreign chips. Of the $190 billion of chips used in China, only 10% are made by homegrown manufacturers.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if China is trying to negotiate some tech transfer and trying to put pressure on the incumbent memory makers to share some technology with the domestic Chinese memory makers,” one source told the Wall Street Journal.