China bans Micron technology in critical infrastructure amidst security concerns

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Micron Technology's facility in Shanghai, China (credit: Micron Technology)

The Cyberspace Administration of China has told the country’s critical information infrastructure operators that they should no longer purchase products from U.S. semiconductor firm, Micron Technology.

The news follows a network security review of Micron's products sold in China, which was conducted by the Network Security Review Office. The purpose of the review was to prevent product network security issues from endangering the security of the country's key information infrastructure, which maintains national security. 

Micron provides memory and storage solutions for use in communications applications such as mobile, 5G and data centre networks, as well as in automobiles, consumer electronics, servers, and computers.

The Cyberspace Administration of China says that the review found Micron's products to have relatively serious potential network security issues, which could pose a major security risk to the country's key information infrastructure supply chain and affect national security. The Network Security Review Office therefore failed Micron’s products. This means, said the regulator, under “the Network Security Law and other laws and regulations, operators of critical information infrastructure in China should stop purchasing Micron products.”

The administration went on to say, in a statement: “China firmly promotes high-level opening up to the outside world. As long as it abides by Chinese laws and regulations, companies from all countries and various platforms are welcome to enter the Chinese market.”

A spokesperson for the U.S. Commerce Department has responded with an official statement. It said:  "We firmly oppose restrictions that have no basis in fact. This action, along with recent raids and targeting of other American firms, is inconsistent with [China’s] assertions that it is opening its markets and committed to a transparent regulatory framework."

This announcement is the latest optical communications chapter in the story of declining trade relations between China and the West, which has also seen the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ban China Telecom (Americas) from providing telecommunications services within the country. The UK also banned Huawei technology in its 5G networks, and is phasing out the use of its products in FTTx networks by 2027. At the end of last year, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission passed a law banning China-based ZTE and Huawei from selling telecomms equipment in the country.

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