Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix plan to leave out detailed information when supplying Washington with data related to the global chip shortage as they want to protect trade secrets, reported Reuters.
The South Korean firms – the world’s two biggest makers of memory chips – are among companies the US government has asked to volunteer information so it can better understand the crisis that has led to a sharp curtailing of auto production. It has set a Nov. 8 deadline for submission of the information.
The Commerce Department has said, however, it may make answers compulsory depending on the number and quality of responses.
“The scope of the US data request is such that if all the information it wants is leaked, it would undermine competition and make it really easy for a client to choose one chipmaker over another,” said one of the sources, who was not authorised to speak on the matter and declined to be identified.
The issue has raised such concern in South Korea that Industry Minister Moon Sung-wook will discuss it with Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo when they meet on his trip to Washington next week.
The request is comprised of 26 topics seeking data on inventories, orders and sales ranging from “everyday” information to questions on highly strategic areas such as capacity increase plans, the top three customers for each product and how much those three customers account for in terms of the product’s sales, according to an industry ministry source.
Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.