The increased restrictions by the US on China and the policies enforced by the US government on China have put two of the top South Korean memory chipmakers—Samsung and SK Hynix—in a tough spot. The leaders of both memory chip firms are expected to visit the US next month.
According to a report by BusinessKorea, Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Jae-yong and SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won will accompany President Yoon Seok-yul to attend the KORUS summit scheduled for April 26. Samsung’s Lee visited China this month, which was his first visit in nearly three years. He attended the 2023 China Development Forum in Beijing, which was held from March 25 to 27.
The US semiconductor policy forces Samsung and SK Hynix to choose between the US or China
SK Hynix’s Chairman Chey also visited China to attend the Boao Forum. Lee also met with State Council Premier Li Qiang, and Chey is expected to do the same. The semiconductor industry in South Korea is in a dilemma between the US and China. Speaking of US policies, Samsung and SK Hynix must choose between the United States and China.
The main issue is that both companies have to make a call on whether they should continue with new investments in the United States and take advantage of the US government’s subsidies or continue expanding their existing large-scale facilities in China. The US government has prohibited semiconductor companies from increasing their production capacity in China by 5% or more over the next ten years.
The Biden administration has also started blocking the supply of semiconductor equipment to China. This has affected both Samsung and SK Hynix, and both semiconductor giants are looking for ways that will be fruitful for their businesses.