Shown above are LPDDR5 chips produced by SK hynix. The chips were found to be used for Chinese firm Huawei’s latest smartphones despite the U.S. restrictions. SK hynix has launched probes into the case. Photo courtesy of SK hynix

Mate 60 Pro starts investigation into the case

South Korean semiconductor company SK hynix announced on Sept. 7 that it had not supplied chips to the latest smartphone of Chinese company Huawei.

To check how its memory chips ended up in the new Huawei smartphone, the Mate 60 Pro, the company said that it had started an investigation into the case.

The announcement came after news reports that Huawei had used SK hynix’s LPDDR5, a low-power memory, and NAND flash memory chips for the new smartphone launched last month.

After the United States basically prohibited supply of the chips made with U.S. technology and equipment to Chinese firms in 2020 due to security concerns, SK hynix vowed to follow the decision.

“SK hynix no longer does business with Huawei since the introduction of the U.S. restrictions against the company, and with regard to the issue, we started an investigation to find out more details,” an SK hynix official said.

“SK hynix is strictly abiding by the U.S. government’s export restrictions.”

Before kicking off the probe, the official said that SK hynix had already reported to the Bureau of Industry and Security under the U.S. Commerce Department.

A possibility was raised that the LPDDR5 and NAND flash memory chips of SK hynix at issue might have been purchased before the introduction of the U.S. restrictions in late 2020.

In early 2020 when Huawei was one of the biggest customers of SK hynix, the two products were already available, according to the Korean tech giant.

Meanwhile, the Huawei smartphone is known to be powered by China’s chipmaker based on 7-nanometer technology, prompting Washington to scramble.

The technology is just a few years behind the industry’s leaders, including Samsung Electronics and SK hynix.

Hillary Lee studied literature in Seoul. Lee has big interests on various topics including IT, BT, business and finance. Lee can be reached at or 82-2-6956-6698.