At the beginning of October, preferential US export control conditions for South Korean memory manufacturers with factories in China will expire. Last year they managed to obtain the right to supply any type of equipment for their needs to China, but the postponement was only for a year. Korean media are now reporting that the special conditions will remain in place indefinitely and will be announced this week.
According to the news agency YonhapThe US Department of Commerce has recently been actively consulting with Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, whose major memory chip manufacturing facilities are located in China. A year ago, US authorities banned the supply of equipment to China for the production of certain types of memory, and Korean manufacturers were granted a one-year reprieve to complete the implementation of their investment programs to supply new equipment to China. The easing is now expected to be legalized indefinitely, and American officials will make statements to that effect this week.
The US authorities must decide on a list of devices and companies that can serve the interests of Samsung and SK Hynix in China. Even without taking into account the need to expand production on the territory of the PRC, Korean companies feel the need to modernize and replace facilities operating in the Middle Kingdom. Therefore, some relaxations should be made in the export control regulations to ensure that the corresponding production continues to function competitively in the coming years. Together, Samsung and SK Hynix control 70% of the global DRAM memory market and 50% of the NAND memory market, forcing American officials to consider their interests even when it comes to producing chips in China.