According to recent data, the U.S. plans to restrict the supply of semiconductor equipment to China, among other things, it is also about the technology for the production of the NAND memory, which could damage not only China, but also the South Korean business.
U.S. President Joe Biden's administration is reportedly considering plans to restrict the supply of equipment to China with American technology, including the supply of YMTC to a large Chinese manufacturer. The problem is that the business of the nearest U.S. supporters may suffer as a result. Samsung Electronics has the largest NAND memory company in China, as well as an auxiliary plant in Suzhou. SK hynix in China has a flash memory that it has acquired from Intel. New measures include a ban on the export of equipment that allows the production of the 128-layer NAND, as well as the memory of more new generations. In the United States, similar equipment is produced by Lam Research and Applied Materials.
According to the experts, the reason for the restrictions may be the rapid capture of the NAND market by Chinese YMTC. As long as the share of YMTC is up to 90% of its size in the relevant global market, it is dominated by only five companies, Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix from South Korea, Kioxia from Japan, and the United States Micron Technology and Western Digital. According to Statista, in 2021, the company was ranked sixth in the NAND market with 4.4% of the volume of supplies. Recently, it was reported on the network that YMTC has already produced 128 layered 3D NAND chips and developed 196 layered versions and began to distribute samples to potential buyers.
According to experts, the US is actually engaged in protectionism, promoting export restrictions to protect American producers, disregarding ally business plans. According to industry sources, while new measures are under consideration, there is not even a bill yet.
On July 29, Bloomberg reported that the U.S. Department of Commerce had sent a message to all manufacturers of semiconductor equipment in the United States, banning the sale to China of equipment capable of producing chips on 14 nm process. Last year, the U.S. had blocked supplies to China of EUV-litography equipment and production of chips below 14 nm. This affected, inter alia, the South Korean SK hynix business, which planned to use it for the production of a DRAM at an Usi factory.