Korea Approves Samsung’s China Chip Factory

The South Korean government has given electronics giant Samsung the permission to open a chip manufacturing unit in China.

According to BBC South Korea's Ministry of Knowledge and Economy revealed that the company got the permission to build the plant in China after submitting an application with it on December 6. The ministry said that it gave the permission after conducting two meetings with the industrial technology security committee.

Samsung, which is the world's largest maker of memory chips, plans to open a factory in China for making NAND flash memory chips. The consumer electronics giant will now apply for permission from the Chinese government so that it is able to open the factory in 2013.

The company said that the plant will be able to produce 100,000 units of 12-inch wafer chips per month when run at its full capacity.

"The Ministry of Knowledge Economy made the decision after holding two industrial technology security committee meetings to evaluate the company's plans for technology protection, as well as its need to expand to China and the possibility of technology leaks," the South Korean government said in a statement.

"We are committed to fully cooperate and comply with the government's request [to ensure the security of our technology] and will try our best to efficiently meet the consumer demand [for flash chips] through this new plant," a Samsung spokesman said reports The Wall Street Journal.

Analysts are of the opinion that though there are chances of leaks, chip manufacturing is a highly specialised process making espionage all the more difficult.