USA chipmaker Micron denies receiving Chinese injunction on chip sales

Micron temporarily banned in China

US flash memory chip maker Micron Technology Inc. saw its share price take a pummeling today on the news that a Chinese court has temporarily banned it from doing business in that country. "Micron has not been served with the preliminary injunction referred to in the statements issued by United Microelectronics Corporation and Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co. dated July 3", it said in a statement. Micron added the injunction will hurt its current fiscal fourth quarter revenue by "approximately" 1%, but the chipmaker continues to expect sales to be within the previously guided range of $8 billion to $8.4 billion U.S. Shares in the Boise, Idaho-based company dropped as much as 8%.

UMC filed patent infringement lawsuits against Micron in China in January. About UMC UMC (NYSE: UMC, TWSE: 2303) is a leading global semiconductor foundry that provides advanced IC production for applications spanning every major sector of the electronics industry. "In the end, the Chinese court is expected to withdraw the preliminary ruling, but if Chinese chipmakers have technological power that can match that of Korean chipmakers several years from now, there will be a stronger pressure or sanction on Korean companies".

Shares of Micron, which fell 5.5 percent on Tuesday after the ban, was up 1.9 percent at $52.46 in afternoon trading on Thursday.

During the patent infringement trial, the remedies UMC sought were to stop Micron from making, importing or selling the allegedly infringing products, and also that Micron destroy all inventories and pay compensation.

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"In DRAMs, Korean companies have a wide technological gap with its Chinese competitors".

In December, Micron introduced a lawsuit in United States District Court for the Northern District of California that accused UMC of stealing trade secrets and giving the technology to Jinhua. The country is the world's largest market for chips but China's homegrown suppliers are dwarfed by American rivals. One of the other companies, South Korea's SK Hynix, said the investigation is over suspected price fixing. They have generated record profits recently from the components that are essential to everything from supercomputers to smartphones.

The ruling by the Chinese court is likely to fuel trade tensions between China and the United States, unleashed by President Donald Trump, who accuses China of stealing USA intellectual property.

China's Huawei Technologies and ZTE are fighting U.S. government action that threatens to cut them off from U.S. suppliers and potential customers.

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