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Thread: China Bans Micron Memory Sales

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    China Bans Micron Memory Sales

    China has declared open warfare against the semi industry with an injunction against Micron by UMC who just got caught stealing Microns technology in Taiwan. They have literally declared war against the US semi/nanotech industry and it will be interesting to see how this plays out. This applies to DRAM, NAND and SSD drives. This is a very serious move, especially concerning the amount of technology and counterfeiting that China does. Micron has not been formally served yet and said they won't comment until they are. It has really hurt a number of US stocks with Chinese exposure like Boeing and Nike among others. The other question is why a Chinese court and not one in Taiwan or the US? Could they just be venue shopping knowing the Chinese are in a trade war with the US?

    read:UMC says Chinese court issued preliminary injunction against Micron MU;UMC - The Fly

    Addition: This dispute just underscores the drastic need for a fair world wide patent/copyright system that is
    administered and enforced by a world wide body with full transparency. The myriad of crazy systems
    and rules we have now is not fair, just or economic and is starting to create massive problems that only get worse as the "Great Acceleration" takes hold.

    Taiwanese tech upstarts stole our RAM secrets and staff, claims Micron • The Register

    Comments on this solicited to as to whether the charges are just political and not based on reality.

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    Last edited by Arthur Hanson; 07-08-2018 at 11:54 AM.
     

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    What OP failed to mention is that it is a legal case concerning the alleged patent infringement by Micron to a Taiwanese company UMC. Whether the court's verdict is politically motivated or not is up to debate. But at least both companies (US based Micron and Taiwan based UMC) chose the legal venue to settle their difference. Let's see how the appeal will play out and how the governments might or might not get involved.

    I failed to understand why OP jumped to the conclusion that China is declaring war against semi industry. We still sell $ billions of semi equipments to China, much more than what US companies ordered.

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    It's estimated the Chinese steal between 200 to 600 billion a year in IP from the US.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AGap View Post
    Whether the court's verdict is politically motivated or not is up to debate.
    I think we really need to work very hard to rule out the political motivation is behind this lawsuit. The reason for UMC to file this case in China (lacking IP protection) instead of USA (much stronger in IP protection) can tell us that the political aspect is an important factor. And don't forget we are in the midst of US-China trade war.

    And recently UMC was prosecuted by Taiwanese prosecutors in a case to steal memory technology from Micron Taiwan in order to build a more advanced memory factory in China.

    Both UMC and TSMC are the spin-off from the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) Taiwan. To me, it's sad to see UMC comes to today's situation. Despite UMC started seven years earlier than TSMC in 1980, today UMC is only about 1/6 of TSMC's size in terms of revenue.

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    Last edited by hist78; 07-05-2018 at 06:57 AM.
     

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    Apple and Qualcomm have multiple IP cases pending in China, and they are both U.S. corporations. In fact, the Chinese IP courts are efficiently and expeditiously processing such cases, and have struck a fairer balance between allegations of patent hold-out, versus patent hold-up.

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    UMC just put on a presentation of their new chips and really screwed up when the code names of the chips are Microns were on the slides presented. Not only thieves, but very stupid ones. This just came off CNBC minutes ago.(9:10 am pacific time 7/5/18. This just shows what a joke the Chinese have become. I wouldn't believe someone could screw up so badly.

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    Did neither Micron nor UMC file in both US and China? Strange to have cross-exclusivity by region showing up here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Hanson View Post
    UMC just put on a presentation of their new chips and really screwed up when the code names of the chips are Microns were on the slides presented. Not only thieves, but very stupid ones. This just came off CNBC minutes ago.(9:10 am pacific time 7/5/18. This just shows what a joke the Chinese have become. I wouldn't believe someone could screw up so badly.
    Do you have a link or any video? That sounds hilarious

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Chen View Post
    Did neither Micron nor UMC file in both US and China? Strange to have cross-exclusivity by region showing up here.
    Fred, you brought up an interesting point. Micron's headquarters is in United States so it makes sense for them to file a lawsuit in the United States. But for UMC, they are headquartered in Republic of China (ROC, the official name of Taiwan) and listed in Taiwan Stock Exchange. Why UMC didn't file a lawsuit in Taiwan instead went to the People's Republic of China (PROC) to do so?

    One of the possible reason is: UMC was caught in stealing memory technologies from Micron Taiwan with the purpose to help a PROC company and they are being prosecuted in Taiwan. Right now UMC just doesn't have too much ethical, political, and legal strength to file a lawsuit in Taiwan against Micron.

    Before the final court verdict, I think UMC has already put themselves in a dangerous path:

    1. In terms of political belief, territory claim, and military, the democratic ROC (Taiwan) and the communist China (PROC) are archenemy to each other for more than 70 years. In recent years PROC is threatening Taiwan with several thousand missiles aiming at Taiwan and conducting naval and air force operations around Taiwan. What UMC is doing really hurts its corporate reputation and political relationship in Taiwan.

    2. The criminal case and evidence against UMC and its employees are very strong and serious. But so far I haven't seen UMC, as a public company, to hire a law firm to conduct any independent investigation. I don't even think UMC knows how to do damage control and cut their loses.

    BTW, Fred, do you know anything about UMC's 14nm status? They announced 14nm HVM last year but I can't find who is really using them. Thanks.

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    Last edited by hist78; 07-06-2018 at 09:33 AM.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by hist78 View Post
    Fred, you brought up an interesting point. Micron's headquarters is in United States so it makes sense for them to file a lawsuit in the United States. But for UMC, they are headquartered in Republic of China (ROC, the official name of Taiwan) and listed in Taiwan Stock Exchange. Why UMC didn't file a lawsuit in Taiwan instead went to the People's Republic of China (PROC) to do so?

    One of the possible reason is: UMC was caught in stealing memory technologies from Micron Taiwan with the purpose to help a PROC company and they are prosecuted in Taiwan. Right now UMC just doesn't have too much ethical, political, and legal strength to file a lawsuit in Taiwan against Micron.

    Before the final court verdict, I think UMC has already put themselves in a dangerous path:

    1. In terms of political belief, territory claim, and military, the democratic ROC (Taiwan) and the communist China (PROC) are archenemy to each other for more than 70 years. In recent years PROC is threatening Taiwan with several thousand missiles aiming at Taiwan and conducting naval and air force operations around Taiwan. What UMC is doing really hurts its corporate reputation and political relationship in Taiwan.

    2. The criminal case and evidence against UMC and its employees are very strong and serious. But so far I haven't seen UMC, as a public company, to hire a law firm to conduct any independent investigation. I don't even think UMC knows how to do damage control and cut their loses.

    BTW, Fred, do you know anything about UMC's 14nm status? They announced 14nm HVM last year but I can't find who is really using them. Thanks.
    I am sorry I probably didn't clarify to mean filing patents in both US and China, so that filing dates and priorities would be easily identified and patent examiners can make comparisons more directly.

    That said, the choice of where to file the lawsuit seems politically tied to the present trade war indeed.

    I do not know offhand the customers of UMC 14nm. I wonder if they have any similarities to Samsung or GlobalFoundries 14nm. If so, they can be second source.

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    I read that the injunction is Micron only affects a little over 1% of sales.

    Micron confirms China blocking some chip sales, but says injunction will have minor impact on revenue

    "Micron said the injunction relates to certain of its Crucial and Ballistix-branded memory modules and solid state drives sold in China."

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