China is investigating foreign chipmakers

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Samsung has confirmed that it is being investigated by Chinese authorities as part of a probe that reportedly targets chipmakers based in South Korea and the United States.

China’s State Administration for Market Regulation is also investigating US tech firm Micron Technology and South Korea’s SK Hynix, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Samsung said in a statement that investigators had visited its offices in China on May 31. The company said it is cooperating with authorities.

The Chinese regulator did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Shares in Samsung closed 0.4% lower in Seoul, while SK Hynix shed 1.8%. Micron shares opened lower.

Samsung did not comment on the subject of the investigation.

Bernstein analyst Mark Newman said Beijing may be worried about the rising price of memory chips.

“[The price increase] is causing some concern from China as their domestic [smartphone] handset makers get hurt by the high prices,” Newman said.

“China may also be using this price concern as a way to put pressure on the memory makers to share their [intellectual property],” he added.

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