The top two chip manufacturers in South Korea, Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, are expected to submit their chip business information to the US government before the deadline of November 8, 2021. The US Department of Commerce had requested the global semiconductor firms, on September 24, to submit their internal data on clients, inventory levels, and equipment; the department had also set the November 8 deadline.
One of the reasons behind this request is to review the supply-side issues because a scarcity of key parts (especially chips) has caused a lot of damage to the US automobile industry. The US government had also mentioned previously that this internal information sharing is completely voluntary; however, Samsung and SK Hynix have been obliged to abide by the request.
This sharing of information has given rise to concerns for South Korea-based various tech companies because the data that will be shared with the US government could be sensitive, which means that the information could be used to undermine South Korea-based tech firms; competitiveness and bargaining power globally. They are concerned that it might affect them negatively on a large scale.
Not only that, but some experts also believe that it could even help their rival companies based in the US. It should be mentioned that among the information shared with the US government, some classified information, such as details on client lists, are likely to be excluded from scrutiny.
Last month, the US Commerce Department also stressed that other companies such as Intel, General Motors, and Infineon have agreed to submit their data to the department. On the other hand, the South Korean government said that after the firms hand their data over to the US government, they will open up a dialogue with the US department for cooperation over chip shortages. Trade Minister Moon Sung-wook will visit the US within this month to meet with Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo