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Elpida Memory, Japanese largest DRAM maker, is about to ask the Japanese government to propose higher tariffs on DRAM from Hynix Semiconductor supplied to Japan. The government reportedly did not reject the possibility of such decision and is ready to consider imposing countervailing duties on chips manufactured by Korean DRAM maker of up to 40% according to the Donga.com website quoted by Silicon Strategies.

Earlier this year both the USA and the European Union imposed definitive anti-dumping duties on shipments of Hynix memory chips in the EU and the USA. The US Department of Commerce also slapped 44.71% on imported DRAMs from Hynix Semiconductor, the EU Commission taxes the struggling memory maker with 34.8% tariff. Both duties became effective this Summer.

The EU Commission and the US Department of Commerce found Hynix Semiconductor guilty of receiving illegal subsidies from its creditors that were controlled by the Korean government as well as numerous other kinds of financial aid, such as, syndicated and other loans, state guaranteed export credits, debt rollovers and a debt-for-equity swap.

Elpida Memory and some other Japanese semiconductor firms also accused Hynix Semiconductor of getting illegal financial help from the Korean government and are planning to ask Japanese government to investigate on the matter. When the application to the government is submitted, the latter would commence an investigation on the matter. In case the research proves Hynix guilt, the Korean DRAM firm may face countervailing duties between 20% and 40% starting from July. Japan has never imposed such kind of duties previously.

To fight for its rights, South Korea-based Hynix Semiconductor filed a lawsuit against a 34.8% import tariff slapped by the European Union Commissions in November. In case the Court of First Instance rules against the tariffs, the company will be paid the duties it has already paid back.

Hynix is a very tough rival for Elpida and some other memory makers. The Korean DRAM producer is now concentrated on Asian markets, including Japan, as there is hardly a point for the company to sell DRAM chips to Europe or the United States of America because of enormous tariffs. The company’s market share last year saw an uptick, while Elpida’s market share declined.

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