China bans US chipmaker Micron from key infrastructure projects

22 May 2023

Image: © Sundry Photography/

A review by Beijing authorities has found Micron poses “serious network security risks” to China’s information infrastructure supply chain.

China has banned products made by US chipmaker Micron from being used by domestic companies building key infrastructure over alleged “security risks”.

The move announced yesterday (21 May) by the Cyberspace Authority of China marks a rise in tensions between Beijing and Washington as the two engage in a trade war of sorts to get ahead in the semiconductor race.

Following a review launched in April, the Chinese authority found that Micron’s products have “serious network security risks” which pose a threat to China’s “critical information infrastructure supply chain” and affect the country’s national security.

Headquartered in Boise, Idaho, Micron is one of the biggest semiconductor players in the US. According to a CNN report, the company derives more than 10pc of its revenue from mainland China.

A spokesperson for the company told multiple media outlets that it has received a notice from the Chinese authority following a review of Micron products sold in China.

“We are evaluating the conclusion and assessing our next steps. We look forward to continuing to engage in discussions with Chinese authorities,” the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, the US Department of Commerce was less amicable in its response, blaming China’s actions for “distortions of the memory chip market”.

“We firmly oppose restrictions that have no basis in fact. This action, along with recent raids and targeting of other American firms, is inconsistent with [China’s] assertions that it is opening its markets and committed to a transparent regulatory framework,” a spokesperson told Reuters.

Countries across the world have been trying to boost domestic semiconductor production amid an ongoing global chip shortage.

Just last week, the UK unveiled a long-awaited £1bn semiconductor strategy to build up and protect its chip manufacturing sector. The EU, on the other hand, struck a provisional deal in April on the Chips Act, the bloc’s €43bn strategy to become a leader in the semiconductor sector.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic