China is barring tech companies from buying products from the US semiconductor maker Micron over national security risks.

The Cyberspace Administration of China announced this decision, citing Micron’s failure to pass a cybersecurity review. 

The regulator said Micron’s products posed significant security risks to China’s critical information infrastructure supply chain and national security.

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The ban comes after a seven-week cybersecurity review initiated by the Chinese regulator as a retaliatory measure against sanctions imposed by the US and its allies on China’s chip sector. 

Micron Technology, one of the largest memory chip makers in the US, generates over 10 percent of its revenue from mainland China. 

The company acknowledged the regulator’s notice and is assessing its next steps while expressing a willingness to engage in discussions with Chinese authorities.

The US Commerce Department firmly opposed the restrictions, stating they lacked factual basis and were inconsistent with China’s claims of market openness and a transparent regulatory framework.

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Since October 2022, the US has implemented comprehensive export curbs on advanced chips and chip-making equipment to China to restrict China’s access to critical military technology. 

Key US allies, including Japan and the Netherlands, have also imposed restrictions on overseas sales of chip-making technology to countries like China.

The semiconductor battle is part of the broader growing divide between the US and China, with bilateral relations at their lowest point in decades. 

Recent events, such as the shooting down of a suspected Chinese spy balloon by US fighter jets and China’s continued deepening ties with Russia despite the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, have further escalated tensions. 

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However, US President Joe Biden expressed optimism about improving relations and expected ties between the two countries to thaw soon. 

He emphasized the importance of maintaining open communication with China and highlighted the goal of de-risking and diversifying the US relationship with China rather than seeking decoupling.

The ban on Micron sales represents another significant move in the tech battle between the US and China, as both countries vie for dominance in crucial technologies. 

This ongoing dispute underscores their relationship’s complex and strained nature, which continues to evolve amid geopolitical tensions and economic competition.

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