Chip, battery makers in China face local rivals

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Chip, battery makers in China face local rivals

Korean chip and battery makers should brace for rising challenges as China is stepping up efforts to foster its own industry to reduce its reliance on imports, Seoul’s industry minister said Friday.

Paik Un-gyu, minister of trade, industry and energy, shared the concerns with representatives of local chip and battery makers after returning from his trip to Beijing earlier this week.

“Korean companies have the leading technology in the rechargeable battery and semiconductor sectors. As first movers, it is time to create strategies to maintain the lead from the pursuers,” the policymaker said in a meeting with senior officials from Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix, LG Chem and Samsung SDI.

“The Chinese government is making efforts to develop its semiconductor industry as the inbound shipment of memory chips far surpassed that of crude oil,” Paik said. “Korean battery makers are threatened as China is acquiring the secondary battery technology from its giant electric vehicle market and fostering domestic manufacturers.”

Paik said the government will collaborate with local industries to cope with regulatory moves in China, while expanding investment for research and development of next-generation technologies to tackle the challenges.

“The government will expand investment in the research and investment in the next-generation battery technology and foster the ecosystem for electric vehicle market,” he said.

During his China visit Tuesday, Paik called on China to fairly carry out an antitrust probe into two Korean chipmakers.

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