Micron Is Hit With Chip Sales Ban in China Due to Copyright Issues
Xu Wei
/SOURCE : Yicai
Micron Is Hit With Chip Sales Ban in China Due to Copyright Issues

(Yicai Global) July 4 -- China has temporarily prohibited US chipmaker Micron Technology from selling its products in the world's largest memory chip market, citing the violation of patents held by two Chinese firms.

Micron said it has not received the Chinese court's order so the company has refrained from commenting on the case, news website Sina reported. Taiwan's United Microelectronics and Fujian-based Jinhua Integrated Circuit were the plaintiffs. UMC said the injunction stands to drive some of Micron's products out of the Chinese mainland market.

The Fuzhou Intermediate People's Court yesterday issued an order blocking the Idaho-based company from selling dynamic random-access memory chips and NAND flash memory-related products, including solid-state drives and USB memory sticks. Much of Micron's revenue comes from China.

The case is the latest twist in a drama playing out between Micron and its Chinese rivals. Micron took civil action against UMC in California last December, accusing the firm of secretly infringing on its intellectual property rights relating to DRAM chips. UMC filed a suit against Micron this January, alleging patent violations. The Fuzhou court's decision also comes at a time when China is investigating Micron and its South Korean competitors over allegations of price fixing.

UMC's shares gained more than 3 percent in early trading today, but closed unchanged. Micron's stock ended trading 5.5 percent lower yesterday.

In May, China kicked off an investigation into Micron, Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, the three semiconductor makers who control 96 percent of the memory chip market, after phone makers and other manufacturers complained of steep price hikes since last year.

Officials from the State Administration for Market Regulation raided the offices of Micron, and South Korea's Samsung and SK Hynix in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen on May 31. On June 4, Micron confirmed the probe and said it was cooperating with the authorities.

Editor: Emmi Laine

Follow Yicai Global on
Keywords: US , Micron Technology , DRAM , Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit , PATENT INFRINGEMENT , Taiwan , Semiconductor , IPR