A Feud between Japan and South Korea Is Threatening Global Supplies of Memory Chips



Lindsay Isaac, Sophie Jeong and Junko Ogura | CNN Business

Hong Kong (CNN Business) South Korea has warned that an escalating trade dispute with Japan could hurt the global tech industry.

President Moon Jae-in said Wednesday that Japan’s decision to restrict exports to South Korea of materials used in memory chips are a “blow to the economy” and threaten to disrupt global supplies.

Japan announced earlier this month that companies would need a government license to export three materials to South KoreaThe materials — fluorinated polyamides, photoresists and hydrogen fluoride — are used to make memory chips and smartphones.

The export controls are a massive headache for South Korean firms Samsung and SK Hynix, who between them control over 63% of the global memory chip market, according to the latest figures from the Korea International Trade Association.

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