China claims US broke WTO rules by banning chipmaker

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Last month, the US Commerce Department put Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co on a list of entities that cannot buy components, software and technology goods from US firms.
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The US decision to cut off a Chinese chipmaker from US suppliers amid allegations the firm stole intellectual property breaks World Trade Organization rules and aims to protect a US monopoly, China told a WTO meeting on Tuesday.

The meeting took place with the world’s top two economies already locked in a trade dispute and tit-for-tat tariff war.

Last month, the US Commerce Department put Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co on a list of entities that cannot buy components, software and technology goods from US firms.

US semiconductor company Micron Technology Inc, a maker of memory chips with factories in Virginia and Utah, has accused Jinhua and Taiwan-based partner United Microelectronics Corp of stealing its chip designs in a lawsuit in California.

“We consider this an unwarranted charge and firmly oppose the presumption of guilt to our companies,” a Chinese official told the WTO, according to a transcript of remarks.

Washington is concerned the Chinese firm could flood the market with cheap chips of the same type made by US firms that supply the US military.

The Chinese official said Jinhua had not yet started production and was far from threatening DRAM (dynamic random access memory) circuit manufacturers in the United States.

“In our point of view, the real purpose of the US measures is to maintain the monopoly interests of the US DRAM industry,” he said.

Jinhua and United Microelectronics countersued Micron in China, where courts banned some of Micron’s chips in China.

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