According to a statement made on Monday by the firms and the South Korean presidential office, Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix would be permitted to provide American semiconductor equipment to their operations in China indefinitely without additional U.S. permits.
The United States was anticipated to prolong a waiver given to the South Korean chipmakers on the need for permits to import American chip equipment into China.
According to Choi Sang-mok, senior presidential secretary for economic affairs, “uncertainties about South Korean semiconductor firms’ operations and investments in China have been greatly reduced; they will be able to calmly seek long-term global management strategies.”
According to Choi, the U.S. has already informed Samsung and SK Hynix of the judgement, proving that it is currently in force.
According to the presidential office, the U.S. Department of Commerce is amending its “validated end user” list, which designates which organisations can receive exports of particular technologies, to let Samsung and SK Hynix to continue delivering specific U.S. chipmaking tools to their China facilities.
Once a name is on the list, no more export authorization is required.
The major and second-largest memory chip manufacturers in the world, Samsung and SK Hynix, welcomed the decision and spent billions of dollars in their chip manufacturing facilities in China.
“Through close coordination with relevant governments, uncertainties related to the operation of our semiconductor manufacturing lines in China have been significantly removed,” Samsung stated in a statement.
“We applaud the U.S. government’s decision to extend a waiver with respect to the export control regulations,” SK Hynix stated. We think that the choice will help to stabilise the semiconductor supply chain globally.
At its facility in Xian, China, Samsung Electronics produces around 40% of its NAND flash chips, while SK Hynix produces 20% of its NAND flash chips in Dalian and 40% of its DRAM chips in Wuxi.
As of the end of June, according to statistics from TrendForce, the corporations collectively held close to 70% of the worldwide DRAM industry and 50% of the NAND flash market.
In the past, South Korea has claimed that it has asked the US to clarify any ambiguities surrounding US export restrictions in the chip industry and incentives for chip investment.
The US’s one-year permission allowing Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix to import US chip-making equipment into China is set to expire next month, so industry minister Bang Moon-kyu met with Don Graves, the deputy secretary of commerce, in Seoul on Friday.