Since October last year, it has been repeatedly pointed out that Korean memory chip manufacturers are in a delicate situation. On the one hand, they now produce a significant part of their products in China. On the other hand, the US authorities are restricting the supply of chip production equipment to China, including via third countries. The Korean government is ready to defend the interests of domestic suppliers of semiconductor products at the international level.
Accordingly ReutersSouth Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol called the ongoing competition in the global semiconductor industry a “total war” and stressed the negative impact of deepening contradictions between China and the United States. Earlier, the head of state met with 60 ministers and officials to discuss measures to maintain South Korea’s leadership in memory chip production, boost development in the semiconductor sector, and provide supply chains for equipment, materials and labor.
In a meeting with South Korean ministers, the country’s president said: “Recently, geopolitical issues have become a major source of risk for companies. They (companies – author’s note) will not face them alone, and in this situation, the state should take the initiative to strengthen cooperation and information sharing with like-minded countries like the United States..
The South Korean authorities intend to support research and development activities, support small businesses in the industry, strengthen legal protection of know-how and build a chip test laboratory. We may be talking about the Seoul laboratory that Intel will build in cooperation with Samsung and SK Hynix.
South Korean manufacturers are heavily dependent on China. Up to 40% of the semiconductor components produced by Korean companies are exported to China. Samsung produces about 40% of solid-state memory chips in China, SK Hynix does not exceed 20%, but the last company produces 40-50% of RAM chips in China. At the same time, both manufacturers make a significant contribution to South Korea’s GDP, so the country’s authorities are keen to protect their interests at the international level.