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Signs of US softening on China’s semiconductor industry policy

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Signs of US softening on China's semiconductor industry policy

Signs of US softening on China’s semiconductor industry policy

The above organization numbers have been removed from the list of unconfirmed data by the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). They have 60 days to prove they are not supplying products to the Chinese military. Of these, 31 new semiconductor companies were added to the list on October 7th.





A worker at a microchip factory in Shanghai looks at a printed circuit board.  Photo: Bloomberg

A worker at a microchip factory in Shanghai looks at a printed circuit board. Photo: Bloomberg

The Unverified List (UVL) is a list issued by the BIS of trade restrictions that apply to foreign individuals, organizations or governments. UVL is often confused with Entity Lists, which despite many similarities are two separate lists. The registration of a company in the UVL is not considered a penalty, but is strictly limited.

Companies weakened by the BIS include Yangtze Memory Technologies Co (YMTC), a leading Chinese NAND flash memory manufacturer founded in 2016 and a subsidiary of Tsinghua Unigroup. Apple had planned to use YMTC chips in iPhones sold in China, but those plans were scrapped due to the company’s inclusion in the October UVL.

Alan Estevez, US Deputy Secretary of Commerce, declined to give reasons for the Chinese company’s delisting. However, at an event in Washington on December 6, he said the US was watching “better behavior” from these companies.

previously acc SCMPMany companies on the UVL list have agreed to work with US government officials through the Chinese Department of Commerce. Goodbye, Bloomberg said China is showing early signs of renewed cooperation with the United States to ensure US technology is not used by the Chinese military.

China’s Ministry of Commerce and YMTC were not immediately available for comment.

According to analyst Wang Lifu of semiconductor consultancy ICWise, the elimination of UVL is very beneficial for China’s semiconductor industry as it does not risk being listed as a company.

But experts say the BIS move is simply a “stress-relieving tactic.” “US sanctions continue to make it difficult for China to achieve its goal of semiconductor self-sufficiency due to its inability to acquire the advanced tooling to manufacture certain types of chips,” said Abhinav Davuluri, technology strategist at financial firm Morningstar.

Integrated circuit (IC) imports totaled 498.5 billion units in the last 11 months, down 14.4% from 582.1 billion in the same period last year, according to the General Administration of Customs of China . However, the total value of imported integrated circuits fell just 1.8% to $381.2 billion. That means China is buying chips at higher prices even as world semiconductor prices have fallen due to oversupply and a global economic slowdown. In addition, monthly chip imports reached 40.5 billion units in November, down 1.4% from October’s 41.1 billion units.

Bao Lam

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