Alibaba’s in-house semiconductor unit Pingtouge will unveil its proprietary cloud chip Yitian 710 in Hangzhou, eastern China’s Zhejiang province, on October 19, 2021. Photo: VCG
With just days left before a US-set deadline for global semiconductor companies to provide sensitive data to the US government, the South Korean semiconductor giants appear to be among the last to prepare to hand over their data, despite a clear reluctance to do so, The Korean Herald reported Wednesday, citing anonymous industry insiders.
Samsung Electronics may not be required to submit “classified” company information through negotiations between the US and South Korean governments, as South Korean Commerce Secretary Moon Sung-wook will visit the US this month to meet with the US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. report.
While it’s unclear whether the information Samsung ultimately provided will violate the confidentiality clause in its contracts with customers, most global chipmakers appear to have resigned themselves to the fact that they will have to comply with the US government’s request for sensitive information. , even if they could fall victim to a backlash. This may be because the US has made no secret of its ability to sanction non-compliant companies, as US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo once said that if companies do not respond to the US request “then we have other tools in our toolbox for which they have to give us data.”
While the US Department of Commerce has requested sensitive corporate information from chip manufacturers under the guise of increasing supply chain transparency, there are growing concerns that this move could mark the start of a more aggressive US approach to manipulate the global semiconductor industry. and to check.
The US wants the world’s major chipmakers to submissively submit to its suppression so that they can build their own advanced manufacturing capabilities in the US by defining the “rules” in the global semiconductor industry, even at the cost of another round of disruptions of the entangled supply chains.
In addition, since the sensitive corporate data in question will inevitably contain confidential information about Chinese companies, many are concerned that the data mandate could be part of the US government’s sinister efforts to escalate its technological containment against China, as the White House has done. done. clear that technology is central to the competition between the US and China.
From China’s perspective, US access to sensitive data related to chip deliveries, which could seriously harm the interests of Chinese semiconductor-related industries, is a red flag for relevant companies to become more vigilant. China does not allow chipmakers, forced or not, to break Chinese laws and regulations, putting Chinese tech companies at risk.
It is worth noting that China has its own lead in the global semiconductor supply chain. The battle between South Korean chipmakers over how to answer the US request while complying with the corporate redline signals that they fear possible ramifications of involvement in the tensions between China and the US.
China is the world’s largest semiconductor market with significant production capacity for chip applications. It is essential for China to make good use of its market demand and manufacturing power to take more strategic initiative in the semiconductor supply chain by better organizing and coordinating the country’s downstream markets and manufacturing activities.
Meanwhile, China needs to increase its influence on upstream supply chains through a number of measures. First, China needs to firmly develop its own semiconductor technology. Second, it is necessary to choose suitable suppliers by taking advantage of the competition between different chip makers. Third, China may also pass on the cost pressure of semiconductors to end users, impacting upstream prices.