BEIJING (AP) — Stepping up a dispute with Washington over technology and security, China’s government told users of computers deemed sensitive on Sunday to stop buying products from the largest U.S. memory chip maker, Micron Technology Inc.
Micron’s products have unspecified “serious network security risks” that pose a danger to China’s information infrastructure and affect national security, the Cyberspace Administration of China said on its website. His six-sentence statement gave no details.
“Critical information infrastructure operators in China should stop purchasing Micron Co. products,” the agency said.
The United States, Europe and Japan are reducing China’s access to advanced chip manufacturing and other technology they say could be used in weapons at a time when the government of President Xi Jinping has threatened to attack Taiwan and is increasingly increasingly assertive with Japan and other neighbors.
Chinese officials have warned of unspecified consequences, but appear to be struggling to find ways to retaliate without hurting China’s smartphone makers and other industries and efforts to develop their own suppliers of processor chips.
An official review of Micron under China’s increasingly strict information security laws was announced on April 4, hours after Japan joined Washington in placing restrictions on China’s access to technology to make processor chips. for security reasons.
Foreign companies have been rocked by police raids at two consulting firms, Bain & Co. and Capvision, and a due diligence firm, Mintz Group. Chinese authorities declined to explain the raids, but said foreign companies are required to obey the law.
Business groups and the US government have asked authorities to explain the recently expanded legal restrictions on information and how they will be enforced.
Sunday’s announcement appeared to try to reassure foreign companies.
“China firmly promotes high-level opening to the outside world and, as long as it complies with Chinese laws and regulations, welcomes companies and various platform products and services from various countries to enter the Chinese market,” the agency said. Cyberspace.
Xi accused Washington in March of trying to block China’s development. She called on the public to “dare to fight.”
Despite that, Beijing has been slow to retaliate, possibly to avoid disrupting Chinese industries that assemble most of the world’s smartphones, tablets and other consumer electronics. They import more than $300 billion worth of foreign chips every year.
Beijing is investing billions of dollars to try accelerate chip development and reduce the need for foreign technology. Chinese smelters can supply low-end chips used in cars and home appliances, but they can’t support smartphones, artificial intelligence and other advanced applications.
The conflict has prompted warnings that the world could become decoupled or split into separate spheres with incompatible technology standards, meaning computers, smartphones and other products from one region won’t work in another. That would increase costs and could slow innovation.
Relations between the United States and China are at their lowest level in decades due to disputes over security, Beijing’s treatment of Hong Kong and Muslim ethnic minorities, territorial disputes and China’s multi-trillion dollar trade surpluses.