China Places Clamps on Micron Sales

Micron Stock Drops On China Court Ruling To Ban Its Memory Chips

In response, UMC filed patent infringement lawsuits against Micron with the mainland China courts in January of 2018, covering three areas, including specific memory applications related to DDR4, SSD and memory used in graphics cards.

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

Micron said that it hasn't been issued with an injunction from the Chinese court and would not be commenting further until it has received and reviewed the relevant documents. It predicted this will not affect its outlook for the August-ending fiscal Q4 of $8 billion to $8.4 billion.

The case comes amid increasing trade friction between the world's top two economies, with billions of dollars in fresh trade tariffs due to come into force on Friday.

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"In today's environment, because of the tensions between China and the United States", local judges may feel more comfortable granting an injunction knowing they will "face less pressure from the higher courts", Li said.

The products impacted by the ban are the ones that Micron sells through retail outlets and represents a small portion of the chipmaker's revenue, Morgan Stanley analysts said in a client note.

The injunction prevents Micron from selling 26 semiconductor products, including DRAM and Nano flash memory chips, which are building blocks for mobile phones, computers, and other IT (information technology) devices, as well as solid-state computer hard drives (SSD), according to a July 3 online announcement on UMC's website. Micron shares closed down 5.5 percent that day.

Micron and UMC are also battling it out in Californian courts.

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The two chipmakers have been at loggerheads since December previous year when Micron filed a civil lawsuit in the state of California, accusing UMC of secret infringement of intellectual property related to its DRAM chips.

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.

The competitors of Micron include Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Intel Corporation, SanDisk Corporation, Toshiba Corporation, and SK Hynix Inc.

Shares of Micron Technology are rallying Thursday, up 1.32%, after the company said the impact from a sales ban in China won't have be a huge negative on its business. When the ban on the sale of Micron products in China is realized, the ban is expected to benefit the Korean semiconductor industry. "I think there is room for the stock to continue to go higher".

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