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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

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
10 hours ago - Technology

TikTok gets more time (again)

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The White House is again giving TikTok's Chinese parent company more to satisfy national security concerns, rather than initiating legal action, a source familiar with the situation tells Axios.

The state of play: China's ByteDance had until Friday to resolve issues raised by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), which is chaired by Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin. This was the company's third deadline, with CFIUS having provided two earlier extensions.

Federal judge orders Trump administration to restore DACA

DACA recipients and their supporters rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 18. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty

A federal judge on Friday ordered the Trump administration to fully restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, giving undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children a chance to petition for protection from deportation.

Why it matters: DACA was implemented under former President Obama, but President Trump has sought to undo the program since taking office. Friday’s ruling will require Department of Homeland Security officers to begin accepting applications starting Monday and guarantee that work permits are valid for two years.

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot" — The recovery needs rocket fuel.
  2. Health: CDC: It's time for "universal face mask use" — Death rates rising across the country — Study: Increased testing can reduce transmission.
  3. Economy: U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows — America's hidden depression: K-shaped recovery threatens Biden administration.
  4. Cities: Bay Area counties to enact stay-at-home order ahead of state mandate
  5. Vaccine: What vaccine trials still need to do.
  6. World: UN warns "2021 is literally going to be catastrophic"
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the vaccine approval process.