Thursday, December 29th 2016

China Regulator to Look Into Possible DRAM, NAND Price Fixing by Manufacturers

It's been a couple years now that we've seen continuously increasing pricing of DRAM and NAND semiconductors. The price increase, which has been hailed and documented over, over, and over again (and there are way more articles on this subject here on TPU), follows reported increased demand which has failed to be accompanied by its respective manufacturing and supply ability.

However, reports that companies were planning on increasing production of DRAM and NAND below the expected increases in supply demand may have turned at least some regulatory eyes towards the issue. China's National Development and Reform Commission's Pricing Supervision Department (NDRC) said they are aware of the situation, how it could point towards price-fixing from the four major NAND production players (Samsung, Hynix, Micron and Toshiba), and are looking into the matter. "We have noticed the price surge and will pay more attention to future problems that may be caused by 'price fixing' in the sector," the official Xu Xinyu was quoted as saying in an interview to Chinese newspaper Daily China.
Samsung at least is reported to have already been approached by Chinese officials regarding this matter, although it would seem both Samsung and SK Hynix have declined to comment on the matter. Chinese companies have been particularly affected by the NAND and DRAM price surges, since China has a booming smartphone industry - the number of Chinese smartphone companies is nothing short of numerous, really. As such, and with Chinese semiconductor manufacturers' inability to produce the premium, best price/performance 3D NAND, means these companies have been particularly subjected to the markets' whims and price increases - a situation that China's businesses would certainly like to see fixed. "China is the biggest smartphone manufacturer... So of course China wants to pay more attention and play a more important role in the whole industry," said Hattie He, Shanghai-based analyst at research firm Canalys. "Memory is one of the key components for smartphones so it makes sense that Chinese vendors want to have more capabilities to control these components," she said. Source: Reuters
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17 Comments on China Regulator to Look Into Possible DRAM, NAND Price Fixing by Manufacturers

#1
dj-electric
Where the hell were bodies like the EU until now?
Did people really think to themselves "oh, this 120% price increase is totally fine and reasonable" ?
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#2
trog100
Dj-ElectriC said:
Where the hell were bodies like the EU until now?
Did people really think to themselves "oh, this 120% price increase is totally fine and reasonable" ?
my machine has 32 gb.. i happened to notice while looking around ram at £92 per 8 gb.. that would be close to £400 for the amount i have.. jeesh..

trog
Posted on Reply
#3
Chaitanya
Finally... was hoping either EU or US agencies would have investigated the matter of Dram prices. Good to see atlest chinese agencies have decided to investigate.
Posted on Reply
#4
_JP_
Dj-ElectriC said:
Where the hell were bodies like the EU until now?
Did people really think to themselves "oh, this 120% price increase is totally fine and reasonable" ?
No, they were just busy with BREXIT, price fixing in telcos, oil distributors and so on...
Posted on Reply
#5
Vya Domus
Why would the EU or US look into this when literally all the manufacturing of these things takes place in Asia.
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#6
repman244
Vya Domus said:
Why would the EU or US look into this when literally all the manufacturing of these things takes place in Asia.
And none if it is sold in the EU or the US, right?
Posted on Reply
#7
Gasaraki
Vya Domus said:
Why would the EU or US look into this when literally all the manufacturing of these things takes place in Asia.
Because we also buy the memory?!? This is not manufacturing investigation, this is price fixing investigation.
Posted on Reply
#8
Vya Domus
repman244 said:
And none if it is sold in the EU or the US, right?
I can only wish the US and EU good luck.

Gasaraki said:
this is price fixing investigation.
And investigations are all they are going to get. :laugh:

You all seem to believe anyone can just step in , investigate and regulate these prices anywhere around the globe. Spoiler alert , it doesn't work like that. Look at other precedents and you'll see only local authorities can truly enforce these sorts of regulations , this couldn't be more true especially in Asia.
Posted on Reply
#10
Bones
Considering who's doing the looking I'm thinking it's gonna go like "Let's look - OK we looked, carry on".
Posted on Reply
#11
Totally
Vya Domus said:
I can only wish the US and EU good luck.



And investigations are all they are going to get. :laugh:

You all seem to believe anyone can just step in , investigate and regulate these prices anywhere around the globe. Spoiler alert , it doesn't work like that. Look at other precedents and you'll see only local authorities can truly enforce these sorts of regulations , this couldn't be more true especially in Asia.
Yes because only local authorities can implement and enforce sanctions foreign imports, right? Also refusal to cooperate with with agencies depending on then probe can be perceived as guilt/wrongdoing.
Posted on Reply
#12
Vya Domus
Totally said:
Yes because only local authorities can implement and enforce sanctions foreign imports, right? Also refusal to cooperate with with agencies depending on then probe can be perceived as guilt/wrongdoing.
Except this has nothing to do with imposing restrictions on imports. Also , good luck trying to do that when you have companies like Apple gobbling up a ton of DRAM chips and basically having their entire business rely on it. Limiting imports may very well prove to be the absolute worst decision they can make.

This is supposedly about the EU and US having the type of authority to check for price fixing and enforce restrictions in places like China , which they clearly don't have , not to any meaningful extent. But I suppose it's good to have trust in them , even if it's basically useless.
Posted on Reply
#13
R-T-B
Vya Domus said:
Except this has nothing to do with imposing restrictions on imports. Also , good luck trying to do that when you have companies like Apple gobbling up a ton of DRAM chips and basically having their entire business rely on it. Limiting imports may very well prove to be the absolute worst decision they can make.

This is supposedly about the EU and US having the type of authority to check for price fixing and enforce restrictions in places like China , which they clearly don't have , not to any meaningful extent. But I suppose it's good to have trust in them , even if it's basically useless.
There is a lot of precedent of western courts imposing penalties (which have been paid) on parts manufacturerers in Asia dude. It's really not some outlandish concept. Heck, the last price fixing class action netted me a $100.00 check.
Posted on Reply
#14
jaggerwild
I find it funny as China is the cause of the shortages, Mining comes from china, or is china based. You can look all day, gee lets see johnny buys GPU to mine, then buys ten more as he is making a ton. Then adds 4 more computers and 15 more GPU'S, ETC.
Posted on Reply
#15
yotano211
jaggerwild said:
I find it funny as China is the cause of the shortages, Mining comes from china, or is china based. You can look all day, gee lets see johnny buys GPU to mine, then buys ten more as he is making a ton. Then adds 4 more computers and 15 more GPU'S, ETC.
Blame the mining crowd, ahahaa.

Mining is world wide dude.
If johnny adds only 15 GPUs with 4 computers, johnny is doing it wrong. johnny can do 15 GPUs on 2 computers and will need less DRAM memory.
And johnny is not a very good Chinese name.
Posted on Reply
#16
Parn
I wish EU and US agencies would follow suit. £400 for 32GB of non-fancy looking basic DDR4-2400 RAM is ridiculous.
Posted on Reply
#17
cadaveca
My name is Dave
Vya Domus said:
Except this has nothing to do with imposing restrictions on imports. Also , good luck trying to do that when you have companies like Apple gobbling up a ton of DRAM chips and basically having their entire business rely on it. Limiting imports may very well prove to be the absolute worst decision they can make.

This is supposedly about the EU and US having the type of authority to check for price fixing and enforce restrictions in places like China , which they clearly don't have , not to any meaningful extent. But I suppose it's good to have trust in them , even if it's basically useless.
Well, what happened is Samsung was penalized for price fixing before, and the US imposed trade tariffs, making Samsung memory products more expensive than others. But now it seems that other brands simply increased their prices to match the tariff-including prices of Samsung, once they had products that worked as well as Samsung's did. That's why we had products like the "wonder ram" Samsung DDR3... these were fantastic ICs that Samsung could not sell any other way because of those imposed tariffs. We only got these same ICs in other kits that were charging top-dollar...
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