FirstFT: US asks South Korea not to fill market gap if China bans Micron chips

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Ahead of President Yoon Seok-yeol’s state visit to Washington, the White House asked South Korea urge their chipmakers not to increase sales to China If Beijing bans Micron from selling the chips, people familiar with the situation say.

This month, China began testing US-based Micron, one of the three dominant players in the global DRAM chip market, along with South Korean Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix. US officials and business leaders believe this is retaliation for President Joe Biden’s actions to prevent China from obtaining or producing advanced semiconductors.

It’s unclear whether punitive action will be taken following the investigation, but with mainland China and Hong Kong generating 25% of the company’s $30.8 billion in revenue last year, the stakes are high for Micron.

The case was a litmus test of whether Beijing is ready for the first time to take coercive economic action against a major US company. While the US has partnered with allies to counter China on security in the Indo-Pacific, this is the first known time it has asked an ally to enlist the support of its companies to play its part.

Here’s what else I’m tracking today:

  • Results: This is reported by troubled lenders Credit Suisse and First Republic Bank, as well as The Coca-Cola Company, Philips and Vivendi.

  • EU meeting: The bloc’s foreign affairs council is meeting in Luxembourg to discuss Russia’s war with Ukraine.

  • Economic data: Ifo has its business climate index for Germany, and Rightmove publishes its UK house price index.

Five more main stories

1. EXCLUSIVE: Santander is in talks to hire several of Credit Suisse’s top investment bankers. in New York, according to people familiar with the matter, as it seeks to capitalize on UBS’ bailout of a Swiss lender. Find out which bankers the Spanish group spoke to.

2. Investors underestimate how much the cost of borrowing in the eurozone will rise. Belgian central bank chief told the Financial Times. Pierre Wunsch, member of the European Central Bank’s rate-setting board, said that agree to halt interest rate growth only if wage growth slows.

3. Strengthening UK legislation on sexual harassment in the workplace will be delayed. after a flood of amendments from conservative colleagues blocked his progress through Parliament. Groups that urged ministers to prioritize the long-awaited law in the wake of CBI rape allegations, accused colleagues of trying to “derail” the bill.

4. Jeff Schell to step down as CEO of NBCUniversal after ‘inappropriate relationship’. with a female colleague, Comcast’s parent company said yesterday. The complaint prompted an investigation led by an outside lawyer. in a 19-year veteran of the company.

5. US President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act may actually complicate efforts to reduce inflation, critics ranging from Bank of America to BlackRock’s Larry Fink warned, though it sparked an investment boom. Here’s why the scale of federal handouts is worrying.

Big Read

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© Montage FT/Bloomberg

The weeks since the collapse of the Silicon Valley bank on March 10 have brought an uncomfortable realization: the problems that triggered the largest bank crash in history were neither an accident nor an unforeseen emergency. Ahead of the first official autopsy on its failure, almost everyone agrees that the crisis was hiding in plain sight.

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Schedule of the day

Tech businesses pushed earnings warnings from UK-listed companies in the first quarter to their limits. highest since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020as economic uncertainty led to the delay and termination of contracts.

Line chart of the number of quarterly earnings alerts showing the sharp increase in earnings alerts in the tech and telco sectors

Take a break from the news

On the Weekend podcast, host Lila Raptopoulos talks Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Susan-Lori Parks about her new show. Plays for the Plague Year, which asks us to remember, mourn and mourn the pandemic.

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