Leading South Korean companies Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix were set to hand over their semiconductor data to the US government by Monday (US time).
According to a statement on Sunday by the South Korean Ministry of Economy and Finance, the chipmakers were preparing for a “voluntary submission” to hand over their internal data to the US.
In late September, the US Department of Commerce asked major chip companies and automakers to “voluntarily” share business information to address the global chip crisis, following President Joe Biden’s executive order to secure and strengthen America’s supply chains for key products.
The South Korean government has said it will strengthen the chip supply chain partnership with the US.
According to reports, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world’s largest chipmaker, has already submitted its answers to the US sans customers’ detailed information.
Kim Ki-Nam, Vice Chairman and CEO of Samsung’s device solutions division, said the company was “calmly” preparing answers to the request during a meeting with reporters at the Korea Electronics Show (KES) last month.
“We are internally reviewing the matter and are in close talks with the (South Korean) government,” said SK Hynix CEO Lee Seok-hee, who also attended the event.
The information request by Washington has immediately spawned concerns about the possible leak of what chipmakers consider as major trade secrets, as questions touch upon a wide range of issues, including investment, inventories, pricing, customers, and sales, Yonhap news agency reported last week.
It also raised questions on how to answer those sensitive questions while complying with filings and information disclosure rules required for publicly traded companies.
While the US government said the information sharing is “voluntary”, South Korean companies are under pressure to file the information as requested.