U.S.-China chip war could hurt Samsung, SK Hynix but not for long: Fitch

Samsung Electronics Co. 8GB Double-Details-Charge (DDR) 4 memory modules.

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The U.S.-China chip war could effect South Korea’s chip giants as China accounts for a huge chunk of their production potential — but there shouldn’t be lengthy-phrase disruptions, in accordance to Fitch Rankings.

Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix deal with pitfalls as the U.S. seeks to block China’s access to superior semiconductor chip products, in accordance to the June 7 report.

China accounts for 40% of Samsung’s total flash memory chips (NAND) production capacity, claimed the analysts led by Matt Jamieson. It also accounts for 40%-50% of SK Hynix’s dynamic random accessibility memory (DRAM) chips and 20% of its NAND potential.

“We do not imagine there would be a big extended-phrase offer disruption, as it is most likely that Korea will turn out to be the major location for the two companies’ expansionary financial commitment and know-how upgrades,” the credit ratings agency claimed in the June 7 report.

The U.S. in Oct introduced sweeping principles to slice off China’s accessibility to get or manufacture high-tech semiconductor chips. They came as issues grew in excess of China’s skill to use such substantial-tech chips to advance its military services capabilities. The Netherlands and Japan are reportedly poised to adhere to match.

Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix are the two greatest manufacturers of memory chips globally, adopted by U.S.-centered Micron in 3rd spot. Memory chips are storage equipment used in computer systems, smartphones and tablets.

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The companies’ fabrication vegetation in China make state-of-the-art chips as effectively as older chips, which are exempted from the U.S. limits. The memory chips are produced for Chinese consumption as very well as exports.

However, the two chip giants attained one-year waivers from the U.S. to continue importing highly developed resources for their China plants until eventually October, according to the Korea Situations.

“Ought to the U.S. not increase the waiver, we anticipate the companies to go on making memory chips at their Chinese plants applying presently put in technologies,” reported Fitch Ratings.

Profit from Micron ban

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The Fitch report stated the two South Korean chipmakers will at least partly fill Micron’s hole. “It will be complicated to keep track of what capacity dropped by Micron is actually filled by the Korean businesses, supplied the commodity-like nature of memory chips.”

“The logistics of this strategy could acquire time, but could offset any favourable effects Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix may well obtain from the ban on Micron in China in gentle of the world’s memory chip oversupply,” the analysts reported.

However, threats could further more raise if the U.S. or China employ more extreme rulings and bans, as it will affect the expense and availability of semiconductor provide-chain components, they included.