- The U.S. concession permits Hynix and Samsung to import advanced American machinery freely
- Washington has granted the pair an indefinite exemption from broader restrictions prohibiting shipping advanced chipmaking equipment to China.
Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix have permission to supply chips with US technology to Chinese factories without a separate approval.
Washington has granted the pair an indefinite exemption from broader restrictions prohibiting shipping advanced chipmaking equipment to China.
The U.S. concession permits Hynix and Samsung to import advanced American machinery freely, which would otherwise be restricted in China. This machinery is vital for Korean industry leaders to sustain operations in the world’s largest chip market.
“The US government’s decision means that the biggest trade issue for Korean semiconductor companies has been resolved,” presidential economic adviser Choi Sang-mok told reporters during a briefing. “Korean chip companies are key suppliers and equipment consumers, accounting for 60.5 per cent of the world’s memory output, and their stable production is directly linked to the stability of the global semiconductor supply chain.”
Hynix warned in 2022, when Washington unveiled its broadest series of chip export restrictions, that escalating curbs could force the closure or sale of a major plant in China in a worst-case scenario.
The comprehensive 2022 regulations challenged Beijing’s tech aspirations and created ambiguity for foreign companies in China, notably Hynix and Samsung. Initially, they obtained a one-year waiver for importing essential equipment but remained uncertain about its extension. Around that period, Hynix cautioned of a 50% reduction in capital spending in 2023 due to declining electronics demand, underscoring the uncertain business climate stemming from the waiver’s status.