Biz / Tech

Micron's sales ban in China may reshape market

US memory chip giant Micron Technology Inc said on Friday that it will comply with a Chinese court's ruling of a temporary sales ban.

US memory chip giant Micron Technology Inc said on Friday that it will comply with a Chinese court's ruling of a temporary sales ban.

Early this week,  the Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court in Fujian Province notified two Chinese subsidiaries of Micron that it has granted a preliminary injunction against those entities in patent infringement cases filed by United Microelectronics Corporation and Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co. 

In a corporate statement today, Micron said it will "comply with the ruling while requesting the Fuzhou Court to reconsider or stay its decision."

The decision, which bans Micron from selling some memory chips and solid state drivers used in smartphones, computers and other consumer electronics in China, is estimated to weaken Micron's income by 1 percent in the current quarter, expected at between US$8 and US$8.4 billion, the company said. 

The case may trigger a reshape of the global market due to its huge size in China and the market position of Micron, Taiwan-based researcher TrendForce said.

In the DRAM memory market, Micron is the third biggest player, with 23 percent market share globally by the first quarter, following Samsung’s 45 percent and SK Hynix’s 23 percent. China is one of the world’s biggest DRAM memory markets with 20 percent share, TrendForce said.

In the flash memory market, competition is more heated with market leaders including Samsung’s 37 percent, Toshiba’s 19 percent, WDC’s 15 percent, as well as other players like Intel and new player YMTC from China.

The temporary ban and halted operation of Micron’s Xi’an plant will bring uncertainty to the company, the research firm said.

In China, products like vehicles with autonomous features, monitors with intelligent storage and analysis features and various new IoT (Internet of Things) devices will require a huge volume of data, which is expected to fuel the memory market, a Micron senior executive said during an interview in Shanghai in March.


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