China defends ban on US chipmaker Micron

BEIJING — The Chinese government on Wednesday, May 24, 2023, defended its ban on products from U.S. memory chipmaker Micron Technology Inc. in some computer systems after Washington expressed concern, adding to strains over technology and security.

The security review of Micron products was “conducted in accordance with the law,” said a foreign ministry spokesperson, Mao Ning.

The Cyberspace Administration of China on Sunday said Micron products have unspecified security risks but gave no details. It banned them from computers that handle sensitive information.

That came after Washington, Japan and the Netherlands blocked Chinese access to technology to make advanced processor chips on security grounds at a time when the ruling Communist Party is threatening to attack Taiwan and is more assertive toward its other Asian neighbors.

“China’s cybersecurity review does not target specific countries or regions,” Mao said. “We do not exclude technologies and products from any country.”

Companies on both sides have been buffeted by supply disruptions and lost sales revenue.

Restrictions by Washington and its allies on access to chips and tools make them hamper China’s efforts to develop its own chip industry. U.S. vendors have lost billions of dollars of potential sales to Chinese smartphone makers, chip foundries and other customers.

Mao complained the United States has imposed restrictions on more than 1,200 Chinese companies on security grounds “without any factual basis.” She accused Washington of misusing national security as an excuse to “unreasonably suppress Chinese companies.”

“This is economic coercion and is unacceptable,” Mao said. / AP