Micron to shut DRAM chip design operations in Shanghai

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Micron Technology's solid-state drive for data center customers is presented at a product launch event in San Francisco, U.S., October 24, 2019. REUTERS/Stephen Nellis REFILE - CORRECTING TYPE OF THE DRIVE

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Jan 26 (Reuters) - Memory chip maker Micron Technology (MU.O) will shut its DRAM chip designing operations in Shanghai by the end of this year, the company confirmed late on Wednesday.

In a statement given to Reuters, the company said that it will close its DRAM Engineering Group from its Shanghai Design Center over the next year, with completion expected by December 2022.

The company added that the centre would focus on developing NAND and SSD technology moving forward.

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The South China Morning post, citing industry sources, said that 150 Chinese engineers at the site will be asked to relocate to the United States or India.

Micron makes NAND memory chips that serve the data storage market as well as DRAM chips that are widely used in data centres, personal computers and other devices.

Semiconductors have been at the heart of U.S.-China tensions and the United States has been looking to shift the balance back in favour of the West and away from Asia, driven by intellectual property and supply chain concerns.

In 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted Taiwan-based chip maker United Microelectronics Corp (UMC) (6615.T) and China's Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co Ltd, alleging the companies conspired to steal trade secrets from Micron.

Fujian Jinhua Denied the Allegations. UMC pled guilty to the charges and paid a $60 million fine

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Reporting by Chavi Mehta in Bengaluru and Josh Horwitz in Shanghai; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi and Raju Gopalakrishnan

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