Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. (YMTC) on Friday denied that it met with Chinese government officials to discuss the impact of U.S. sanctions against supercomputer and semiconductor industries. The company called the information false and rumors but neither confirmed nor denied the meetings took place.
YMTC claims that it never participated in such closed-door meetings and the information about such participation damages its reputation.
"The above remarks about our company published by relevant media are not true," YMTC said in a statement. "In the face of rumors, YMTC has always insisted that the clearer will clear itself. However, in the current situation of major changes in the market environment and industrial environment, the above-mentioned sinister and false statements will not only damage the corporate image of YMTC, but also have a serious negative impact on the semiconductor industry environment at home and abroad."
Bloomberg reported on Thursday that China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) had summoned executives from the country's leading semiconductor and supercomputing companies, including Sugon and YMTC, to discuss the effects of sweeping U.S. sanctions against Chinese high-tech industry on their businesses. The agency said that the government promised to support affected companies financially but did not present any plans for how the effects of the sanctions that essentially bar China from the global semiconductor supply chain can be relieved.
While we cannot verify whether the closed-door emergency meetings took place and whether YMTC executives participated in them, we can make some guesses about the situation based on the publicly available details.
YMTC is a subsidiary of government-controlled Tsinghua Unigroup, founded in collaboration between Tsinghua Unigroup, Chinese national 'Big Fund' aimed to develop the semiconductor industry in the country, and Hubei provincial government. Given YMTC's close ties with government-controlled organizations, the MIIT could hold a meeting with executives of Tsinghua Unigroup, who could talk on behalf of its subsidiary to the government. However, in this scenario, YMTC executives did not need to participate in any meetings.
While this assumption makes sense, YMTC would prefer not to be associated with the Chinese government (or rather with the Chinese Communist Party) in any way at the moment. Although Yangtze Memory must secure wafer fab equipment from American companies to keep operating, it will also have to procure more advanced fab tools to ramp up production of its next-generation 3D NAND memory featuring the Xtacking 3.0 architecture with ~200 layers and a 2400 MT/s interface speed.
Meanwhile, to sell equipment to YMTC, U.S.-based companies like Applied Materials, KLA, and Lam Research will need to get an appropriate export license from the U.S. Department of Commerce, which will review applications with the presumption of denial. To that end, any publicity that associates YMTC with the People's Republic's government (which means CCP) is damaging for the company.
"YMTC a commercial company that adheres to the concept of globalization, marketization and compliance operation," the statement from YMTC reads. "Since its establishment, it has always adhered to the principle of legal and compliant operation worldwide. In the future, we will also adhere to the original aspiration and adhere to the principle, and actively seek the path of development under the current changes in the external environment and situation."
Besides refuting participation in closed-door meetings with government officials and stating that it is a commercial company that adheres to principles of globalization, YMTC also threatened to take legal action against publications, journalists, organizations, and individuals who reported, re-reported, or forwarded the original Bloomberg story.
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Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.