China has continued to escalate its geopolitical and trade disputes with the United States. On Sunday, the Chinese government urged users of computer equipment deemed sensitive to buy products from Micron Technology Inc., the biggest US memory chip maker.
The Cyberspace Administration of China said on its website that Micron products pose unspecified “serious network security risks” that pose a threat to China’s information infrastructure and affect national security. Chinese officials did not provide additional details.
“Operators of sensitive information infrastructure in China should stop purchasing Micron company products,” the agency said.
The United States, Europe and Japan are reducing China’s access to advanced chip manufacturing and other technology they say could be used in weapons at a time when President Xi Jinping’s government has threatened to attack Taiwan. given. The Chinese government is also expanding its influence in the Asia Pacific region, which worries Western powers.
Chinese officials are looking for ways to respond to Western blockades, but are finding it difficult to retaliate without hurting local smartphone production and local chip production efforts.
Micron’s review under China’s increasingly stringent information security laws was announced on April 4, hours after Japan joined Washington in banning Chinese access to technology to make processor chips on security grounds.
Foreign companies in China have been shaken by police raids on two consulting firms, Bain & Co and Capvision, and a due diligence firm, the Mintz Group. Chinese officials declined to explain the raids, but said foreign companies are required to comply with the law.
Business groups and the US government have asked Chinese officials to explain recently expanded legal restrictions on information and how they will be enforced.
Sunday’s announcement appeared to try to reassure foreign companies.
The agency said, “China strongly promotes a high degree of opening up to the outside world and allows enterprises and various platform products and services from different countries to enter the Chinese market as long as Chinese laws and regulations are complied with.” welcomes.”
Xi accused Washington in March of trying to stall China’s development. The Chinese President called on the public to “dare to fight”.
Despite this, Beijing has been slow to retaliate against Western countries, presumably to avoid disrupting Chinese industries that assemble most of the world’s smartphones, tablets and other consumer electronics. China imports more than $300 billion worth of foreign chips each year that are needed to make phones, tablets, computers and various other electronic devices.
However, China no longer wants to rely on the overseas market to manufacture chips for processors. Beijing is investing billions of dollars to speed chip development and reduce the need for foreign technology. Chinese companies can supply low-end chips used in cars and home appliances, but they cannot make chips for smartphones, artificial intelligence and other advanced applications.
The conflict between China and the United States over chipmaking has prompted warnings that the world could split or split into separate regions with incompatible technology standards. This would mean that computers, smartphones and other products from one region would not work in another region. In turn, this would be a scenario in which technology costs would rise and innovation could be delayed.
Relations between the United States and China are at their lowest level in decades due to disputes over security, Beijing’s treatment of Hong Kong and Muslim ethnic minorities, territorial disputes, the Taiwan issue and China’s multitrillion-dollar trade surplus.