SK Hynix secures one-year waiver on chip equipment in China facilities following US chip export curbs
Published: Oct 12, 2022 02:09 PM

chip Photo:VCG

chip Photo:VCG

South Korea's SK Hynix Inc said in a statement it sent to the Global Times on Wednesday it was authorized by the US Department of Commerce to continue receiving chip equipment needed for its chip production facilities in China for one year, without the need for additional licensing requirements.

The waiver comes as the US government on Friday announced a broad set of technology export controls, including what said to be the "harshest" ban on shipment of certain semiconductor chips made anywhere in the world with US equipment to China, further intensifying its so-called tech decoupling push and threatening to wreak havoc in the highly globalized chip supply chain.

Following the new rule, Reuters reported on Tuesday that US chip toolmaker KLA Corp will cease offering some supplies and services from Wednesday to China-based customers including SK Hynix in compliance with recent US regulations, citing a source familiar with the situation.

The US Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) assured SK Hynix that the company, as well as its current suppliers and business partners, is still authorized to engage in activities necessary to maintain current production of integrated circuits in China for one year without further licensing requirements, SK Hynix told the Global Times.

"Our discussions with the Department of Commerce led to an approval to supply equipment and items needed for development and production of DRAM semiconductors in Chinese facilities without additional licensing requirements," the company said.

"Continued supply of equipment means a stable provision of memory chips to the world," SK Hynix said. "Along with the South Korean government, we will continue our consultations with the Department of Commerce and make our utmost efforts to operate our plants in China in a stable way, while continuing compliance with applicable laws and regulations."

Industry players have warned that if the new measures are strictly implemented, it could put as much as 30 percent of some US and global chip industry giants' total revenue at risk because China accounts for one-third of their total revenue.

Commenting on the US' move, Mao Ning, a spokesperson for China's Foreign Ministry, said on Saturday that the US' new export controls will hinder international tech exchanges and economic cooperation, and undermine the stability of global industrial and supply chains and the recovery of the world economy.

The US' politicization and weaponization of technology, economic and trade issues will not stop China's development, but will only hurt the US itself, the spokesperson added.

Global Times