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Micron receives Chinese ban, sees 1 pct impact on quarterly revenue

07 July 2018

The Fuzhou City Court of China issued a preliminary injunction order of ban on the sale of Micron products in China. "Micron will not be commenting further until the company has received and reviewed documentation from the Fuzhou Intermediate People's Court of China". The Chinese court ruled Tuesday that Micron violated UMC's patent rights.

Micron, according to reports, has not been served with the injunction. The case is still being heard. The lawsuits covered specific memory applications related to DDR4, SSD and memory used in graphics cards.

Analysts believe the ban is largely symbolic as hurting the USA chipmaker would end up creating more pain for local Chinese firms who would have to rely on Korean firms Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, pushing up memory chip prices.

Much of Taiwanese semiconductor firms' business is conducted with the mainland.

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Under the Chinese yuan-denominated A share listing plan announced last week, wafer foundry Hejian will merge with two of its own units - contract chipmaker United Semiconductor (Xiamen) Co. and integrated circuit designer UnitedDS Semiconductor (Shandong) Co. - to issue 400 million new shares. "I think there is room for the stock to continue to go higher".

The move comes after UMC took Micron to the Chinese courts over patent infringement claims. The country is the world's largest market for chips but China's homegrown suppliers are dwarfed by American rivals.

China represents about one quarter of the worldwide sales of memory chips, while half of the revenue generated by Micron is from sales in China, with an additional 12.5% from sales of chips in Taiwan.

Other chipmakers also gained. If the ban is enacted, Micron's competitors, including Samsung, SK Hynix, WDC, Intel, Toshiba and the new entrant YMTC would be benefited. "So they have to import anyway", said Greg Roh, an analyst at Hyundai Motor Securities.

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Others believe the ban will be short-lived.

China court bans Micron chip sales in patent case: Taiwan's UMC.

"In the end, the Chinese court is expected to withdraw the preliminary ruling", said the official.

According to Wang, Micron now supplies SSD modules to Alibaba, China's largest e-retailer; Huawei, the world's third-largest smartphone maker; Tencent Holdings, a Chinese conglomerate providing internet and telecommunications services; and Baidu, China's largest search engine.

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The unnamed South Korean industry insider also added that China already has already set South Korean chipmakers as its next target. Samsung, SK Hynix and Micron have been leading this market by supplying memory semiconductors to home appliance, smartphone and server companies.

Micron receives Chinese ban, sees 1 pct impact on quarterly revenue