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US plans semiconductor alliance with Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan

Seoul hesitant due to Korean chipmakers’ operations in China

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U.S. President Joe Biden stands with Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House Campus in January 202...

U.S. President Joe Biden stands with Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House Campus in January 202... (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Washington recently proposed forging a semiconductor industry alliance between the U.S., Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan in a move to prevent China from gaining dominance over the strategic sector.

Seoul is not fully on board with the idea, however, per a Business Korea report. The South Korean government is reluctant to jeopardize the operations of South Korean chipmakers like Samsung who have core manufacturing infrastructure in China.

The western Chinese city of Xi’an is home to Samsung’s only overseas memory chip plant. The fab accounts for roughly 40% of the Korean conglomerate’s total NAND flash production.

SK Hynix also has a plant in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, that produces almost half the company’s DRAM chip output.

“Cooperation with the United States is the top priority of course, and yet the biggest market (China) is also of paramount importance,” an anonymous industry insider told Business Korea.