Tuesday, 20 November, 2018


Micron says has not received Chinese injunction on chip sales

U.S. Stock Market U.S. Stock Market
Conrad Doyle | 07 July, 2018, 04:17

On Tuesday, UMC released a statement claiming a Chinese court had temporarily banned sales of Micron chips in China.

Micron announced that the Fuzhou Intermediate People's Court, Fujian Province, China today notified two Chinese subsidiaries of Micron that it has granted a preliminary injunction against those entities in patent infringement cases filed by United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) and Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co.

On the news, Micron shares fell by up to 8%, while UMC shares jumped 3.9% in early trading Wednesday in Taipei.

Micron is disappointed with the ruling by the Fuzhou Intermediate People's Court. "In the end, the Chinese court is expected to withdraw the preliminary ruling, but if Chinese chipmakers have technological power that can match that of Korean chipmakers several years from now, there will be a stronger pressure or sanction on Korean companies". When violations occur, UMC stands ready pursue patent infringement litigation in order to obtain judgment and remedies to protect the intellectual property rights of the company. Jinhua has denied the allegations. A company spokesman declined to comment further.

Watch Micron trade in real time here.

Micron and UMC have been at loggerheads over the issue of stealing trade secrets in the Chinese court since previous year. It said the U.S. company's products infringed on three of its patents related to DDR4, SSDs, and graphic card memory.

The patent ruling Tuesday in favor of Micron's rivals comes as USA accusations of intellectual-property theft by Chinese businesses and tariff threats increase tensions between Washington and Beijing.

The dispute follows a ban on USA firms supplying parts to China's telecom equipment maker ZTE as well as the drawn-out wait for Chinese regulators to approve Qualcomm Inc's $44 billion takeover of NXP Semiconductors. Only this week, the company said it was planning to list its HeJian Technology Corp., its China operations, on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Much of Taiwanese semiconductor firms' business is conducted with the mainland.

"I think that China is using this case as a payback against the US", said Ho in an interview with the Taiwan branch of New York-based broadcaster New Tang Dynasty Television. "And the stakes are high, as we can see in this case".

China is the largest importer of memory products, consuming 20 percent of the world's DRAM. UMC requested that Micron stop making, importing, or selling these products. In fact, Micron derived half of its fiscal 2017 net sales from the country.

The Micron ban could be a major opportunity for other global chipmakers to step in. If the ban is enacted, Micron's competitors, including Samsung, SK Hynix, WDC, Intel, Toshiba and the new entrant YMTC would be benefited. "So they have to import anyway", Greg Roh, an analyst at Hyundai Motor Securities, told Reuters in an interview.

Micron claimed ignorance about the ruling, saying it had not seen any paperwork from the Chinese court.

The delay in approving the deal has coincided with uncertainty over the fate of Chinese smartphone and telecommunications company ZTE. These Chinese companies would all need to find another supplier to meet their demand.

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