China’s Cyberspace Administration has warned operators of critical information infrastructure to stop purchasing products from Micron Technology, the largest US memory chipmaker, because of “serious network security risks”. The statement gave no details of the alleged risks, but it came after Japan joined the US in imposing restrictions on Chinese access to technology for making processor chips on security grounds. China has warned of retaliatory measures, but is said to be struggling to find ways to respond without harming its own industries. Meanwhile, foreign companies have been rattled by police raids on two consulting firms and a due diligence firm.
As per a recent report by VOA News, China’s government has escalated its feud with the United States over technology and security by urging users of computer equipment to stop buying products from Micron Technology Inc., the biggest U.S. memory chipmaker. The Cyberspace Administration of China has warned that Micron products have unspecified “serious network security risks” that pose hazards to China’s information infrastructure and affect national security.
The statement from the Chinese agency did not provide any details but called on operators of critical information infrastructure in China to stop purchasing products from Micron Co. The move is part of China’s efforts to reduce its dependence on foreign technology, especially from the United States, Europe, and Japan, which have been imposing restrictions on Chinese access to advanced chipmaking and other technology that could be used in weapons.
China’s government has warned of unspecified consequences but seems to be struggling to find ways to retaliate without hurting its own industries, particularly its smartphone producers. The country is also trying to develop its own processor chip suppliers to reduce its reliance on foreign technology.
The review of Micron under China’s increasingly stringent information security laws was announced on April 4, just hours after Japan joined the United States in imposing restrictions on Chinese access to technology to make processor chips on security grounds. The move has rattled foreign companies, with police raids on two consulting firms, Bain & Co. and Capvision, and a due diligence firm, Mintz Group. Chinese authorities have declined to explain the raids but said foreign companies are obliged to obey the law.
Business groups and the U.S. government have appealed to Chinese authorities to explain newly expanded legal restrictions on information and how they will be enforced. Despite the tensions, Sunday’s announcement from the cyberspace agency appeared to try to reassure foreign companies that China is open to the outside world, as long as they comply with Chinese laws and regulations.
China’s President, Xi Jinping, has accused Washington of trying to block China’s development and called on the public to “dare to fight.” However, Beijing has been slow to retaliate, possibly to avoid disrupting its own industries that assemble most of the world’s smartphones, tablet computers, and other consumer electronics. Nonetheless, the ongoing tensions between China and the United States over technology and security are likely to continue, with both sides seeking to protect their national interests and reduce their dependence on each other’s technology.
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