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April Fools not so foolish- Jinhua & Micron Marriage?

Robert Maire

Moderator
Our April 1st Jinhua/Micron prediction proves prescient...

In our annual April Fools edition we predicted the potential marriage of Micron and Jinhua, not just as a joke but because it clearly made a lot of sense in many ways. The unique set of circumstances seemed to work.
It now looks like Jinhua and Micron may have been reading Semiwatch......

From the Financial Times:

China chipmaker accused of IP theft looks to rival for rescue

"Fujian Jinhua was indicted for stealing secrets from US foe Micron and now wants its help
Kathrin Hille in Taipei, Kiran Stacey and James Politi in Washington and Richard Waters in San Francisco

The ailing Chinese chipmaker, Fujian Jinhua, is looking to an unexpected quarter for rescue - Micron, the US semiconductor company whose trade secrets it is accused of pilfering.

The state-owned company, one of the national champions at the heart of China's efforts to develop a domestic semiconductor industry, was stopped from starting production late last year when the US government indicted it for allegedly stealing Micron's intellectual property and barred it from buying vital tools and materials from US suppliers.

Now Jinhua is seeking a deal with a foreign semiconductor company willing to provide technology and expertise in running a chip fabrication plant, or "fab", in exchange for use of the site, according to people familiar with the matter.

The move puts a spotlight on one of the key cases at the center of US allegations that China is stealing technology just as the trade war between the two countries is escalating again.

In their previous round of negotiations, American and Chinese officials had been seeking to resolve the case as part of a draft trade deal. But after US president Donald Trump said this week the next wave of tariffs on Chinese goods would be imposed on Friday and China threatened retaliation, industry insiders believe that is becoming more unlikely.

An executive at a foreign supplier that worked with Jinhua until last year said the company had put itself up for sale and was eyeing Micron as a potential buyer. Two people at foreign chipmakers said they had been approached with an informal proposal for a deal.

"The Fujian provincial government is open to various options. It could be a joint venture or just a licensing deal," said a person close to Fujian Electronics and Information (Group) Co, one of the firm's two shareholders, which is controlled by the provincial authorities.

"It should be a pretty attractive proposition for Micron because they gain access to a brand-new fab without having to invest billions. It should be attractive for a lot of foreign semiconductor manufacturers for that matter," he said.

Micron declined to comment. But one person familiar with its thinking rejected the idea that the company was planning any kind of partnership with or investment in Jinhua.

People close to Jinhua, as well as industry insiders familiar with the US-China trade and technology war, said the company's fate was in the US government's hands. Jinhua is pushing the Trump administration to remove it from a list of companies that are banned from buying US goods. People close to the Chinese company said they believed the ban was imposed for commercial reasons because it posed a threat to its US rival Micron, rather than over national security concerns.

The company has drawn up plans under which it promises to limit its capabilities in certain regions, such as Europe, so as not to pose as much of a competitive threat to Micron. It has submitted those plans to the US commerce department in the hope that the Trump administration will be persuaded to take a softer line.

The US justice department alleges Jinhua conspired to obtain Micron technology through UMC, a Taiwanese contract chipmaker that is also a defendant in the criminal case.

Micron alleges that former employees of a company it had acquired left to join UMC, from where they handed technology belonging to the US chipmaker to Jinhua. UMC and Jinhua have denied the allegation. "


Our original Article on April 1st:

Moore's Law extended with new "gateless" transistor

Obviously someone was listening......

Micron buys Jinhua with China's blessing
Micron has a very long history of counter cyclical investing, buying the assets of vanquished competitors when the memory industry is at the bottom of the cycle, such as it is right now.

Over the weekend, Micron announced that it had an agreement to acquire the assets of the now stalled Jinhua memory fab in China. Concurrent with the acquisition agreement, the Chinese government will lift all current restrictions on Micron in China now that Micron will be manufacturing memory devices in China.

The fab which Jinhua built in China has been stalled since the US government ordered US equipment makers to stop doing business with Jinhua, similar to what happened to ZTE. This means that after spending several billion dollars building the fab it became essentially useless after US equipment companies such as Applied Materials, Lam, KLA and even Dutch ASML pulled out in a hurry. Although the purchase price was not reported in the press release, we would speculate that Micron paid pennies on the dollar (or yuan) for the idled assets.

Micron CEO comments
Micron's CEO Sanjay Mehrota commented on the proposed transaction, "This deal is very compelling as it accomplishes many things for Micron. It gets us new capacity, in a rapidly growing market, China and it puts an end to all of our legal restrictions in China. We were also able to obtain these assets at a very attractive price given their current under-utilization" , Sanjay added " We are quite pleased with the fab as it has the exact set of tools needed for Micron's process. In addition the fab is physically laid out just like Micron's Taiwan fab including the software infrastructure"

As part of the agreement the US government will unblock sales to the former Jinhua fab which we are sure the current administration will position as a big win, for the US, much as the agreement to restart sales to ZTE.


Truth is always stranger than fiction .....and maybe more fun.........


Maybe Micron will use our quote in their press release......
 

tonyget

New member
This is the statement on Jinhua website, Google translation

http://www.jhicc.cn/news_detail/newsId=49.html



Jinhua Company's statement on the false report of the Financial Times


According to the "China chipmaker accused of IP theft looks to rival for rescue" released by the Financial Times on May 10 (the Chinese chip makers accused of stealing intellectual property rights are seeking help from competitors), Jinhua is reporting This statement, the content of the report is not true, it is pure fabrication, the company has no sale plan, and has not sought the help of Micron.

Hereby declare


Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co., Ltd.

May 11, 2019
 
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