Temporary approval for Samsung's chip facilities in China

A Biden administration official said that Samsung Electronics has been given an exception that will let it keep at least some of its memory chip production facilities in China. This comes a week after the U.S. tightened export rules for China, making it harder for the country to get advanced computing chips.

Samsung's chip facilities

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he wasn't allowed to say anything, said that Samsung has been given a license for the equipment it needs to keep existing facilities running, but not for exporting chips, which is against the law.

Because of agency rules, the U.S. Commerce Department would not say anything specific about Samsung's exemption. But the department said in a prepared statement that companies can ask for case-by-case permissions to help ease concerns about the supply chain.

The Bureau of Industry and Security in the Department of Commerce was going to talk to the public about the rule on Thursday.

The temporary license for Samsung was first mentioned in the Wall Street Journal. South Korea is home to the company Samsung.

Beijing has criticized the U.S. for tightening export controls that make it harder for China to get and make advanced computer chips. Beijing says this is a violation of international economic and trade rules that will "isolate and backfire" on the U.S.

The U.S. says that the export controls were added as part of ongoing efforts to protect U.S. national security and foreign policy interests.

In recent years, technology and security issues have caused problems between the U.S. and China. The U.S. has put in place a lot of rules and measures to stop China from getting chip technology, while China has set aside billions of dollars to invest in making semiconductors.