Hynix denies move to China

South Korean memory chip giant refutes the rumors, says it's not going anywhere

South Korean memory chip giant Hynix Semiconductor on Wednesday denied local media reports that it planned to move its operations to China.

A problem finding land in South Korea for a new factory to make chips on 12-inch (300 millimeter) wafers apparently turned into speculation that the company, frustrated, would simply move to China, where it already operates a joint venture chip factory. A South Korean newspaper cited local politicians saying Hynix would make the move.

But the DRAM (dynamic RAM) maker says it's not going anywhere, and the rumor had been blown so far out of proportion that it put out a statement to clarify the issue.

"There were some local news reports that we're planning to move our operation to China. ... Hynix is not reviewing that option," said Kim Mi-Young, a Hynix representative.

The company started looking for a new site for the planned factory after South Korea's environmental protection agency turned down a request to build it near its Ichon complex in Kyonggi Province, for fear it might contaminate a nearby river.

Hynix considered another location, Chongju, where it already owns a piece of land, but ran into further trouble. Its land there is too small for the planned facility, and the constant press coverage over the environmental issue caused landowners in Chongju to speculate Hynix might come calling, and raise their prices accordingly. Now, the company says Chongju is too expensive.

It still does not know where it might build the new factory.