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Chinese semiconductor maker Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co Ltd has been striving to pave the way for “the era of Chinese chips”. However, the Chinese company is facing hurdles notably with the US Justice Department indicting Fujian Jinhua and Taiwan-based United Microelectronics Corp (UMC) for industrial espionage.

The US accuses the companies of conspiring to steal trade secrets related to R&D memory storage devices projects from Micron Technology Inc. UMC develops memory-related technologies for the Chinese firm in the framework of an agreement they signed in 2016. The US Commerce Department banned US companies from selling hardware and software components to the Chinese firm and UMC. The Taiwan firm said shortly afterwards that it will temporarily halt its research and development activities with Fujian.

Fujian Jinhua said in a statement posted on its website that it had not stolen any technology and that it “always attaches great importance to the protection of intellectual property rights.”

This action will have a significant impact on the Chinese semiconductor maker that relies on US supplies and will blow China’s technology ambitions under the government’s “Made in China 2025” plan aiming at boosting home-grown technology and achieve great strides in key areas such as semiconductors.

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