The US criticized the Chinese regime for restricting the sale of chips from the US giant Micron

Memory chip parts from U.S. manufacturer MicronTechnology at their stand at an industry fair in Frankfurt, Germany, July 14, 2015. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach (Kai Pfaffenbach/)

Washington criticized China on Monday for restricting the sale of chips by US giant Micron in a new episode of the dispute over semiconductors between the two powers.

“We have very serious concerns with reports that the PRC restricted the sale of Micron chips to certain domestic industries,” said State Department spokesman Matthew Miller, referring to the People’s Republic of China (RPC).

“This action does not appear consistent with the PRC’s claims that it is open for business and committed to a transparent regulatory framework,” Miller told reporters.

China’s cybersecurity agency announced on Sunday that an investigation revealed alleged security flaws at US semiconductor maker Micron, and urged “critical information infrastructure operators” to stop buying its products.

The Chinese decision came on the eve of a visit to Washington by Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, a rare trip for a senior Beijing official.

Last year the United States invoked national security reasons and restricted China’s access to high-end chips.. Washington has expressed fear that China will use US technology to develop advanced military equipment.

The Netherlands and Japan, US allies and big makers of semiconductor technology, announced their own restrictions on exports but without explicitly citing China.

Technicians inspect equipment during a tour of Micron Technology's automotive chip manufacturing plant on February 11, 2022 in Manassas, Virginia.  (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)
Technicians inspect equipment during a tour of Micron Technology’s automotive chip manufacturing plant on February 11, 2022 in Manassas, Virginia. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File) (Steve Helber/)

Japan seeks to strengthen global chip supply chain

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stressed that international investment and exchanges to strengthen the computer chip supply chain are welcome.. This was announced last week when he met with the leaders of the main manufacturers of computer chips.

A recent chip shortage was a sore spot for Japan’s manufacturing powerhouses like Toyota Motor Corp.., when social restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic reduced supplies, serving as a wake-up call that robust access to production must be ensured.

Computer chips are used in vehicles, mobile phones, and a variety of other products, and lNext-generation chips will be crucial for artificial intelligence, automated driving systems, and other advanced technologies.

Japan is eager to strengthen its domestic chip production and remain a technology leader. Analysts say the uncertain future of relations between Washington and Beijing could also put supplies at risk.

Intel Chief Executive Pat Gelsinger, TSMC Chairman Mark Liu and Kye Hyun Kyung, a senior executive at Samsung Electronics, were among the executives who met at the prime minister’s official residence in Tokyo.

(With information from AFP)

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