Micron chip sales banned in China in patent dispute with Taiwan's UMC

Micron temporarily banned in China

A Chinese court has temporarily halted a US memory chip maker from selling its semiconductor products in China, a move that could further intensify the ongoing trade dispute between Beijing and Washington.

In a statement released by UMC on Tuesday night, it said it received a document from the Fuzhou Intermediate People's Court of China saying that it has issued a preliminary injunction to bar Micron from selling 26 products that allegedly infringed on UMC patents obtained in China.

UMC filed patent infringement lawsuits against Micron in China in January.

However, sources close to the company say it is now drafting a response to the ruling by the Fuzhou Intermediate People's Court of the People's Republic of China.

Micron said the injunction relates to certain of its Crucial and Ballistix-branded memory modules and solid state drives sold in China. It predicted this will not affect its outlook for the August-ending fiscal Q4 of $8 billion to $8.4 billion.

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Mr Narongsak said discussions regarding the lowest risk rescue attempts were ongoing, but acknowledged that time was against them. They also can't swim and have zero diving experience, making a rescue very unsafe . "I believe the training has already started".

European shares are broadly higher Wednesday, but they are losing some ground as trade tensions continue to simmer. Only this week, the company said it was planning to list its HeJian Technology Corp., its China operations, on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

The move comes after UMC took Micron to the Chinese courts over patent infringement claims.

The ban comes amid an escalating trade spat between Washington and Beijing that is spurring China to accelerate its moves to develop domestic chipmakers in order to reduce its heavy reliance on USA firms like Micron and Qualcomm, another US -based chip maker.

"UMC is pleased with today's decision", UMC president Jason Wang said in a statement.

As evidence, Micron cited the use of Micron DRAM technology code names at a UMC and Jinhua recruitment fair for RAM chip experts in Silicon Valley in October 2016 and its discovery that its employees poached by UMC had copied confidential information before leaving the company.

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About 800 Chinese products, from boilers to industrial robots and cars, will have a 25% tariff imposed when imported into the US. US auto manufacture giant General Motors (GM) is also eyeing a loss in the face of the trade wars Washington is waging.

Nevertheless, MU share are trading down -5.34% (down -$2.91).

UMC filed the lawsuit at the beginning of year, accusing Micron of violating its patents rights in mainland China.

The case is part of a broader dispute between the two companies centring on accusations that UMC acted as a conduit for the theft of Micron's designs in an attempt to help China grow its domestic chip industry and replace imports that rival oil in total value. The Fuzhou Court issued this preliminary ruling before allowing Micron an opportunity to present its defense.

Boise, Idaho-based Micron has been hoovering up profit as demand for memory chips used in everything from smartphones and servers to thermostats and cars outstrips supply.

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