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Tuesday, 23 May 2023 15:28

China Targets US Based Micron with a Sales Ban Citing National Security Concerns

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In what seems to be a tit-for-tat move, Chin has announced a ban on products from US chip maker, Micro. The reasons for this are vague with the Cybersecurity Administration of China (CAC) saying it is for National Security reasons. This move comes after the US has banned a couple of technology companies from China for the same reasons and as social time-wasting platform TikTok comes under greater scrutiny in possible preparation of a nationwide ban on the platform. Montana has already signed a ban into law although this ban might not bear the scrutiny of a Constitutional Review.

The CAC kicked off a probe into Micron back in March and the new ban is the result. Micron, of course, says they are evaluating the claim and seeing what they can do next, while the US Commerce Department commented to the BBC that the ban has no factual basis. These are things we would expect from the US and from any company that is being targeted for this type of political and potentially financially impacting move on the part of a competitive nation state.

This type of move comes at a time when the US is not exactly in a position of power in terms of manufacturing and trade. US companies are increasingly reliant on China and other countries to make their products and then might not have the same flexibility to sell them in the same places they are put together. Seeing a company like Micron targeted here for “serious cybersecurity concerns” makes us wonder if this is just a logistical move that might be adopted by other countries hindering the sale and use of these products by other manufacturers that reply on China for products to be made.

It would not be out of the realm of possibility for China to put pressure on Apple, Dell, and others to not use Micron or suffer some sort of penalty making things more costly both financially and politically. The ban may already cover any existing product with Micron hardware in them, making this a very smart move logistically. It allows for great pressure to be put on a number of US based companies by finding a critical component like this.

There may not be any real cybersecurity issues at all, this could be all a powerplay. It could also be (if I allow my paranoia spirit animal out) be a move to get US companies to utilize a compromised supply chain using a Chinese manufacturer instead of one from the US. This latter is not likely, but does illustrate what a move like this could do, if pushed the right way.

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