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Risch, Crapo tell Trump why they worry that China is undermining Boise's Micron

Inside Micron’s operations

Micron purchased Taiwanese memory-chip maker Inotera Inc. in 2016, its most recent major acquisition. This video is an inside look at some of Micron's operations around the world.
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Micron purchased Taiwanese memory-chip maker Inotera Inc. in 2016, its most recent major acquisition. This video is an inside look at some of Micron's operations around the world.

Idaho's two U.S. senators sent a letter to President Donald Trump voicing concern about a lawsuit that a Chinese company and its Taiwanese partner have filed against Boise's Micron Technology Inc., The New York Times reports.

The lawsuit was filed in January, a month after Micron sued the two companies in U.S. court, accusing them of conspiring to steal Micron trade secrets to help the Chinese company ramp up production of memory chips. (Read the Statesman's December story detailing the alleged espionage and the risks it poses to Micron.)

The lawsuit alleges patent infringement by Micron, which develops memory technology in Boise and manufactures it in other U.S. and Asian cities. The case is being heard by a court in Fujian province, whose government is an investor in the Chinese firm.

“If the case against Micron moves forward, and the Chinese government once again rules in favor of itself, it would cause substantial damage to Micron and the U.S. tech industry as a whole,” said the letter by Sens. Jim Risch and Mike Crapo, the Times reported Friday.

The case could block Micron from selling some products in China.

Meanwhile, a Taiwan technology newspaper reported that Micron and two Korean memory makers, Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, could face possible fines up to $8 billion over alleged price fixing.

All three companies have enjoyed robust sales and profits as their industry has consolidated and demand for memory has climbed. Togther, they account for about 90 percent of the world's dynamic random-access memory sales.

DigiTimes said all three companies confirmed that they had been visited by Chinese antitrust regulators and said they would cooperate with investigators.

David Staats: 208-377-6417, @DavidStaats
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