Sun, 10 Dec 2023

Representative Mike Gallagher, chair of the U.S. House of Representatives committee on China, says that after Beijing banned the sale of some chips made by US company Micron Technology earlier this week, the Commerce Department should also place restrictions on Chinese memory chip maker Changxin Memory Technologies (CXMT).

Responding to Beijing's move, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Tuesday the Chinese announcement on Micron was "not based in fact," the Commerce Department was "engaged directly" with China over the issue.

On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the Senate, also said he is discussing the situation with the broader business community and allies.

Gallagher, an influential lawmaker whose select committee on China has pressed the Biden administration to take tougher stances on China, is the only lawmaker to call for retaliatory action so far.

In a statement, he said the US "must make clear to the People's Republic of China (PRC) that it will not tolerate economic coercion against its companies or its allies."

"The Commerce Department should immediately add ChangXin Memory Technologies to the entity list and ensure no US technology, regardless of specifications, goes to CXMT, YMTC, or other PRC firms operating in this industry," he added.

CXMT is China's leading maker of DRAM memory chips, while chipmaker Yangtze Memory Technologies Corp (YMTC) has been placed on the US blacklist list December 2022.

The Commerce Department must ensure "no US-export licenses granted to foreign semiconductor memory firms operating in China are used to backfill Micron, and our South Korean allies, who have experienced exactly this kind of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) economic coercion firsthand in recent years, should likewise act to prevent backfilling," Gallagher said.

Analysts believe CXMT's chips are two to three generations behind industry leaders Micron and South Korea's Samsung and SK Hynix.

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