Chinese authorities on Sunday urged local operators of “critical information structure” to stop purchasing from the U.S.-based chipmaker Micron Technology Inc., citing “major” security risks without providing any details.
The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said that Micron had failed a security review, which it launched after the United States announced export bans that impacted China’s access to advanced semiconductors.
The United States last year imposed sweeping restrictions on access to chipmaking technology to impede China’s technological and military advances. Advanced semiconductor chips are used to make everything from pickup trucks to hypersonic missiles. Currently, more than 60 percent of the world’s supply of chips is produced in Taiwan, many of them with the help of U.S. research and design.
On March 31, Japan imposed export restrictions on 23 semiconductor manufacturing equipment, a move that Beijing condemned for “weaponizing trade and tech issues and destabilizing the global industrial and supply chains.”
Japan said that 42 countries, including the United States and Taiwan, will continue receiving the equipment under a simplified export measure. But China was not among them, to be subject to stricter controls.
Hours after Japan’s announcement, China’s cybersecurity watchdog launched a security review on Micron, citing the need to prevent “network security risks caused by hidden product problems” and “maintain national security.”
‘Stop Purchasing Micron’s Products’
The CAC said its probe found a “relatively serious potential network” that could threaten China’s key information infrastructure supply chain and national security, although the agency did not outline the identified risks nor what Micron products were affected.
“According to the network security law and other laws and regulations, operators of critical information infrastructure in China should stop purchasing Micron’s products,” the CAC said in a statement.
The cybersecurity watchdog did not require that existing Micron products had to be removed, while noting that all companies must “abide by Chinese laws and regulations” in order to access the Chinese market.
“China firmly promotes high-level opening up to the outside world,” the CAC added.
In response, the U.S. Commerce Department spokesperson said that the United States strongly opposes China’s restrictions on Micron, which it claimed “have no basis in fact.”
“This action, along with recent raids and targeting of other American firms, is inconsistent with [China’s] assertions that it is opening its markets and committed to a transparent regulatory framework,” the spokesperson said.
The Epoch Times has reached out to Micron for comment.
G-7 Vows to Reduce China Dependencies
The CAC’s statement came a day after G-7 leaders issued a communiqué criticizing China for its “militarization activities” in the South China Sea and human rights abuses in Tibet and Xinjiang.
(L-R) Italy’s Primer Minister Giorgia Meloni, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, France’s President Emmanuel Macron, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, U.S. President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen participate in a family photo with G-7 leaders before their working lunch meeting on economic security at the Grand Prince Hotel in Hiroshima, Japan, on May 20, 2023. (JONATHAN ERNST/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
The G-7 leaders said that China’s non-market policies and practices distort the global economy. They pledged to foster resilience to economic coercion and counter China’s “malign practices” like illegitimate technology transfer.
They pledged to take steps “individually and collectively” to invest in their economic vibrancy and reduce “excessive dependencies” in critical supply chains, according to the joint communiqué.
“With a view to enabling sustainable economic relations with China, and strengthening the international trading system, we will push for a level playing field for our workers and companies,” the statement reads.
“We also recognize the necessity of protecting certain advanced technologies that could be used to threaten our national security without unduly limiting trade and investment.”
The communiqué was issued after a three-day G-7 leaders’ summit—involving the United States, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Canada—in Japan which President Joe Biden also attended.
Andrew Thornebrooke and Reuters contributed to this report.