Fri, 29 Sep 2023

China, South Korea in talks on cooperation in microchips

Robert Besser
30 May 2023, 15:35 GMT+10

DETROIT, Michigan: Amid broader global concerns over semiconductor chip supplies, sanctions and national security, Chinese commerce minister Wang Wentao said China and South Korea have agreed to increase dialogue and cooperation about microchips.

Wentao made his statement after meeting with South Korean Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference in Detroit, Michigan.

In a statement, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said they exchanged views with South Korea on maintaining the stability of the industrial supply chain and expanding their bilateral, regional and multilateral cooperation.

China is keen to deepen trade ties and investment cooperation with South Korea, Wang added.

However, a statement by South Korea about the same meeting did not mention the issue of chips, saying instead that Ahn asked China to stabilize the supply of key raw materials, as well as to create a stable business environment for South Korean companies in China.

South Korea is trapped in the middle of a row between the US and China over semiconductors.

Last week, China's cyberspace regulator said US chip company Micron had failed its network security review, and operators of key Chinese infrastructure would be banned from buying products from the company.

Citing a host of reasons, most notably national security, the US has pushed for countries to limit China's access to advanced chips.

According to trade ministry data, some 40 percent of South Korea's chip exports are sent to China. In addition, US technology and equipment are required for South Korean chipmakers Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix to manufacture chips sent to China.

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