Chinese authorities are investigating Samsung and other chipmakers
Samsung’s semiconductor business has performed exceedingly well in the past few quarters. Many analysts attributed this success to the increased demand for memory products and its impact on pricing. Along with success came allegations of price-fixing by major chipmakers. It appears the Chinese regulatory authorities are now probing this matter.
China is the largest importer of memory products
According to multiple reports online, investigators from China’s State Administration for Market Regulation have visited the offices of Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron in China on May 31. The three companies have confirmed the visit and assured cooperation with the authorities. While Samsung and Micron maintained silence on the subject of the investigation, SK Hynix has confirmed the inquiry is over alleged price fixing of memory products.
Higher semiconductor prices adversely impact the competitiveness of Chinese exports as it the largest importer of memory products and procures about 90% of its semiconductors from foreign companies. The Chinese government has been investing heavily to develop a domestic chip industry, but it still has a long way to go.
Apart from this probe in China, Samsung, Hynix, and Micron are also facing a lawsuit in the US over DRAM price-fixing allegations. Hagens Berman, a Washington-based law firm, filed a lawsuit last month on behalf of the consumers alleging that these three companies colluded to increase the prices of several memory products by limiting the supply.