Jun 4, 2018

China is investigating U.S. and South Korean chip makers

Samsung DRAM chips from 2001. Photo: Samsung Electronics/Newsmakers via Getty Images

The Chinese government has launched an investigation into U.S. and South Korean memory-chip makers Micron, Samsung and SK Hynix, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The big picture: It's not yet clear why China is probing the foreign companies, but the move comes as China looks to strengthen domestic tech and curb reliance on the West.

The backdrop: After U.S. sanctions prompted an effective shutdown of Chinese phonemaker ZTE, Beijing resolved to invest in its chip makers. "Nearly 90% of the $190 billion worth of chips used in the country are imported or produced in China by foreign-owned companies, according to International Business Strategies Inc., a research firm," the Journal reports.

What's next: “I wouldn’t be surprised if China is trying to negotiate some tech transfer and trying to put pressure on the incumbent memory makers to share some technology with the domestic Chinese memory makers,” Bernstein analyst Mark Newman told the Journal.

Go deeper: Chinese theft of U.S. tech is hard to stop

Go deeper

This year's census may be the toughest count yet

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Community leaders are concerned that historically hard-to-count residents will be even harder to count in this year's census, thanks to technological hurdles and increased distrust in government.

Why it matters: The census — which will count more than 330 million people this year — determines how $1.5 trillion in federal funding gets allocated across state and local governments. Inaccurate counts mean that communities don't get their fair share of those dollars.

Live updates: Coronavirus spreads to Latin America

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Brazil confirmed the first novel coronavirus case in Latin America Wednesday — a 61-year-old that tested positive after returning from a visit to northern Italy, the epicenter of Europe's outbreak.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 81,000 others. By Wednesday morning, South Korea had the most cases outside China, with 1,261 infections. Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 374 cases have been confirmed.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 36 mins ago - Health

Scoop: Census Bureau is paying Chinese state media to reach Americans

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The 2020 Census Paid Media Campaign, which sends U.S. taxpayer dollars to community media outlets to run ads about the upcoming census, is including a Chinese state-run broadcaster as one of its media vendors.

Why it matters: After China's yearslong campaign to co-opt independent Chinese-language media in the U.S., Washington is now paying Beijing-linked media outlets in order to reach Chinese Americans.

Go deeperArrow1 hour ago - World