China has launched a cybersecurity probe into Micron Technology, one of America’s largest memory chip makers, in apparent retaliation after US allies in Asia and Europe announced new restrictions on selling key technology to Beijing.
The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) will review products sold by Micron in the country, CNN quoted a statement issued by the watchdog as saying.
The move is aimed at “ensuring the security of key information infrastructure supply chains, preventing cybersecurity risks caused by hidden product problems, and maintaining national security”, it noted.
It came on the same day that Japan, a US ally, said it would restrict the export of advanced chip manufacturing equipment to countries including China, following similar moves by the US and the Netherlands.
Washington and its allies have announced curbs on China’s semiconductor industry, which strike at the heart of Beijing’s bid to become a tech superpower, CNN reported.
Last month, the Netherlands also unveiled new restrictions on overseas sales of semiconductor technology, citing the need to protect national security.
In October, the United States banned Chinese companies from buying advanced chips and chipmaking equipment without a license.
Shares in Micron sank 4.4 percent on Wall Street on March 31 following the news, the biggest drop in more than three months.
Micron derives more than 10 per cent of its revenue from China, CNN reported.
In an earlier filing, the Idaho-based company had warned of such risks.
“The Chinese government may restrict us from participating in the China market or may prevent us from competing effectively with Chinese companies,” it said last week.