Credit: EQRoy/ShutterstockFollowing the U.S. Department of Commerce's barring U.S. companies from selling to Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co., Ltd, a Chinese DRAM maker, Chinese officials have claimed the action violated World Trade Organization (WTO) rules in an effort to protect a monopoly held by a U.S. company.
According to a Reuters report today, China complained to the WTO that “we consider this an unwarranted charge and firmly oppose the presumption of guilt to our companies” and that "the real purpose of the U.S. measures is to maintain the monopoly interests of the U.S. DRAM industry." Presumably the country wants the WTO to convince the U.S. to un-circle the wagons and let U.S. companies ship Fujian Jinhua's supplies once again.
It's worth noting the Department of Commerce didn't mention a specific American company in its announcement. Instead, the federal organization said that Fujian Jinhua's plans to ramp up its DRAM production posed a national security risk because it "threatens the long-term economic viability of U.S. suppliers of these essential components of U.S. military systems," with the idea being that Fujian Jinhua had stolen various technologies from the U.S.
But it's reasonable to suspect that the Department of Commerce was acting to protect Micron, which has repeatedly accused Fujian Jinhua and other Chinese firms of stealing its technologies. Micron and Fujian Jinhua have both used their respective local regulators to hinder one another's efforts. Certain Micron products were barred from parts of China before the U.S. made its own announcement.
Not that the U.S. and China needed another reason to quarrel. Tensions have escalated between the countries in recent months as the Trump administration threatens tariffs on up to $200 billion worth of goods imported to the U.S. from China (you can read more in our previous coverage on what impact the tariffs are currently having and what they could mean for your PC budget).
Fujian Jinhua, for its part, has denied the Department of Commerce's accusations. Micron has done the same for China's.