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US-China semiconductor war heats up

16 20 11

South Korea's industrial conglomerate SK Hynix recently announced that it was investing in an enormous semiconductor facility in China. The planned factory is a logical business choice. China is the world's largest market for semiconductors, and there are few other countries as dependent upon exports and sales to it than neighbouring South Korea.

Sounds good, right? Until a certain third-party country, to nobody's surprise, began objecting to it on the grounds that the plant would involve shipping an extreme ultraviolet lithography machine into China, something that this country does not want Beijing to get its hands on under any circumstances and has blocked the Dutch firm ASML from selling.

Now, the plans are reportedly in a state of uncertainty, albeit not formally cancelled, with SK Hynix saying it will make “wise decisions” in navigating the path between this certain country's competition against China.

It speaks to an unspoken truth: South Korea has limited sovereignty over its own semiconductor industry, which is being strategically hollowed out and effectively placed under the command and control of the United States. The SK Hynix situation is not so much an exceptional circumstance as it is the new rule. Weaponizing its monopoly over global chipmaking and semiconductor patents, the US has exerted extraterritorial jurisdiction over Seoul's world-class industry to bend it to its geopolitical ends.

In recent months, Washington has forced Samsung to commit huge investment into building a plant in Texas, blocked a........

© RT.com

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