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Samsung doesn’t want to become collateral damage in US-China chip war


Last updated: September 7th, 2022 at 16:10 UTC+01:00

The global semiconductor market only has a handful of major players. The United States is investing heavily to become one of the leading players. It also wants to limit China’s rising dominance in the market. The US has openly been making moves to keep China in check. It has floated the idea of restrictions on tech exports from the US to China, limiting the latter’s ability to utilize American technology for chipmaking.

As the world’s largest chipmaker by revenue that operates factories in China and the US, this requires a very delicate balancing act by Samsung. The company wants to avoid a scenario where it becomes collateral damage in this chip war between the US and China.

Samsung searches for a solution acceptable to all

It was reported last month that the United States may limit shipments of new chipmaking equipment to semiconductor companies based in China to slow down their technical advancements and provide protection to US firms.

This puts Samsung at a disadvantage as the company operates chipmaking factories in China. “There could be some difficulties in the long run when we have to put new equipment into our factory in China,” said Samsung’s chip business leader Kyung Kye-hyun.

He pointed out that the company isn’t riding on the conflict between the US and China but wants to find a win-win solution instead. It’s not possible for Samsung to give up on the Chinese market altogether, so the company needs to perform a delicate balancing between the two global super powers.

Kyung also pointed out that Samsung has already expressed concerns about US plans for a chip alliance dubbed Chip 4, which would include Japan and Taiwan as well, in addition to pointing out that South Korea would need to seek China’s understanding before any negotiations began on the proposal. Samsung wishes to find a “common denominator” that would be beneficial to all interested parties.

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