US President Joe Biden (R) and China's President Xi Jinping (L) meet on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Nusa Dua on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on November 14, 2022. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
How Biden administration's export ban is choking off China's tech ambitions (Nov, 2022)
02:55 - Source: CNN
Hong Kong CNN  — 

China has launched a cybersecurity probe into Micron Technology, one of America’s largest memory chip makers, in apparent retaliation after US allies in Asia and Europe announced new restrictions on the sale of key technology to Beijing.

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) will review products sold by Micron in the country, according to a statement by the watchdog late on Friday.

The move is aimed at “ensuring the security of key information infrastructure supply chains, preventing cybersecurity risks caused by hidden product problems, and maintaining national security,” it noted.

It came on the same day that Japan, a US ally, said it would restrict the export of advanced chip manufacturing equipment to countries including China, following similar moves by the United States and the Netherlands.

Washington and its allies have announced curbs on China’s semiconductor industry, which strike at the heart of Beijing’s bid to become a tech superpower.

Last month, the Netherlands also unveiled new restrictions on overseas sales of semiconductor technology, citing the need to protect national security. In October, the United States banned Chinese companies from buying advanced chips and chipmaking equipment without a license.

Micron told CNN it was aware of the review.

“We are in communication with the CAC and are cooperating fully,” it said, adding that it stands by the security of its products. “Micron’s product shipments, engineering, manufacturing, sales and other functions are operating as normal.”

Micron Technology's office in Shanghai in August 2019

Risks expected

Shares in Micron sank 4.4% on Wall Street Friday following the news, the biggest drop in more than three months. On Monday, they closed another 1.2% lower. Micron derives more than 10% of its revenue from China.

In an earlier filing, the Idaho-based company had warned of such risks.

“The Chinese government may restrict us from participating in the China market or may prevent us from competing effectively with Chinese companies,” it said last week.