The US government has now allowed South Korean semiconductor chip firms, including Samsung and SK Hynix, to upgrade their chip factories in China using equipment and technologies developed in the US. Now, Samsung won't need to get prior approvals from the US government, which was the case earlier.
Samsung can upgrade chip manufacturing equipment at its factory in Xi'an, China, without any issues
The South Korean presidential office made this announcement earlier today, marking good times ahead for the country's semiconductor chip companies. The US had already notified of its decision to both Samsung and SK Hynix. Earlier, due to geopolitical tensions with China, the US had placed restrictions on semiconductor chip factories from upgrading their chip manufacturing equipment in their factories in China.
The companies can now keep their semiconductor chip factories up to date by installing newer equipment. This allows them to make newer-generation semiconductor chips. After the US government's previous restriction, it was getting harder for Samsung to keep its plant up to date, and the company was even thinking of transforming its chip factory in Xi'an to make other types of (older) chips. This is the same factory where Samsung makes 40% of its NAND (storage) flash chips.
Samsung and SK Hynix together control 70% of the global DRAM market and 50% of the NAND flash market. Samsung said in a statement, “Through close coordination with relevant governments, uncertainties related to the operation of our semiconductor manufacturing lines in China have been significantly removed.”