WASHINGTON -- The United States will likely limit the level of advanced semiconductors produced by South Korean companies in China to prevent the advanced technology from falling into the wrong hands, a ranking US official said Thursday.
Alan Estevez, under secretary of commerce for industry and security, said the US is also working closely with South Korean companies that produce semiconductors in China to help minimize the potential damage to their business there.
South Korean semiconductor producers were given a one-year license to continue producing their products in China on October 7, 2022 as part of US export controls on semiconductors and other advanced technologies to China.
"So (there) will likely be a cap on the levels that they can grow to in China," he said when asked what will happen when the one-year license expires at a forum hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank.
When asked to clarify, Estevez said the companies will be asked to stop at "whatever layer they are at" or "somewhere in that range."
The US official stressed the importance of protecting advanced technologies and limiting access to such technologies by adversaries.
"We are now in a world where technology is the driver of military power, advanced technologies, cutting-edge critical technologies, semiconductors being at the center of those technologies," he told the forum.
"So we are continuing to have dialogue around that area," he added. "The threats from our adversaries need to be impeded. Otherwise, they will turn those threats against us."
Estevez said the US is in "deep dialogue" with South Korean companies to help mitigate potential damage to their business.
"We work with them to ensure that we weren't going to harm our ally's companies. At the same time, we are going to impede the Chinese's capability, building capabilities that are going to threaten us collectively," he said. (Yonhap)