China to Strengthen Semiconductor Cooperation with South Korea, But There’s a Catch

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China has announced plans to establish dialogue and strengthen cooperation with South Korea in the area of semiconductor supply chains. This move comes amid growing global tensions concerning technology in general, and chip supplies in particular. However, in its statement, the South Korean side did not mention cooperation and instead requested that China stabilise the supply of necessary resources for chip production.

Yesterday, China’s Minister of Commerce, Wang Wentao, met with South Korea’s Minister of Trade, Ahn Duk-geun, and stated that Beijing is prepared to deepen bilateral trade and investment cooperation, according to a statement from China’s Ministry of Commerce. The two officials met during an APEC ministers of trade meeting. They exchanged views on maintaining the stability of industrial supply chains and strengthening bilateral, regional, and multilateral cooperation.

Interestingly, the South Korean statement on the meeting did not mention chips – the Minister of Trade requested that the Chinese side stabilise the supply of key raw materials and create a predictable business environment for South Korean companies in China. The South Korean side expressed the view that communication between officials across all sectors is necessary, not just in semiconductors, according to a Reuters source familiar with the matter.

Last week, China’s regulator announced that Micron, an American multinational corporation producing computer memory and computer data storage, had failed a safety inspection, and it would shield key infrastructure operators from purchasing from the company. The US insists that countries limit China’s access to advanced chips, citing a variety of reasons, including national security.

Reports suggest that approximately 40% of South Korea’s chip exports are directed to China, and American technology and equipment are essential for South Korean chip manufacturers Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix.

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Vasyl Kolomiiets
Vasyl Kolomiiets
I'm Vasyl Kolomiiets, a seasoned tech journalist regularly contributing to global publications. Having a profound background in information technologies, I seamlessly blended my technical expertise with my passion for writing, venturing into technology journalism. I've covered a wide range of topics including cutting-edge developments and their impacts on society, contributing to leading tech platforms.

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