China has banned major chipmaker Micron from major infrastructure projects

  • By Peter Hoskins
  • Business Correspondent

China says products made by US memory chip company Micron Technology pose a national security risk.

Cyberspace, America’s largest maker of memory chips, announced on Sunday that it poses “serious network security risks”.

It means the company’s products will be banned from major infrastructure projects in the world’s second-largest economy.

It is China’s first major move against a US chipmaker amid heightened tensions between Beijing and Washington.

The announcement is the latest development in a deepening row between the US and China over technology critical to economies around the world.

The long-running dispute has seen Washington impose a series of measures against Beijing’s chipmaking industry and invest billions of dollars to boost America’s semiconductor industry.

The CAC did not provide details on the risks it said it found or which Micron products it found them in.

A Micron spokesperson confirmed to the BBC that “the company received the CAC’s notice following a review of Micron products sold in China”.

“We are evaluating the decision and evaluating our next steps. We look forward to continuing discussions with the Chinese authorities,” they added.

In response, the U.S. government said it was working with allies to address what it called “distortions of the memory chip market caused by China’s actions.”

“We strongly oppose restrictions that have no basis in fact,” said a U.S. Commerce Department spokesman.

Micron’s share price fell 5.3% in pre-market trading in the US.

Analysts at investment banking group Jefferies said “the ultimate impact [of the ban] Micron will be more limited” because it doesn’t rely on the Chinese government or telecoms for most of the sales it generates in the country.

Nevertheless, China remains Micron’s main market and makes up about 10% of its full-year sales. In 2022, Micron reported total revenue of $30.7bn (£24.6bn), of which $3.3bn came from mainland China.

It also has manufacturing facilities in the country.

On Sunday, US President Joe Biden said the G7 countries wanted to “de-risk and diversify our relationship with China”.

“That means taking steps to diversify our supply chains,” he added.

Micron CEO Sanjay Mehrotra attended the Hiroshima summit as part of a group of business leaders.

Last week the company said it would invest about 500 billion yen ($3.6bn; £2.9bn) to develop the technology in Japan.

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