Samsung Electronics, the world's leading memory chip and smartphone maker, has begun replacing Japanese materials with local supplies for its production of semiconductors, company officials said Tuesday, a move that could offset Japan's restrictions on high-tech exports to South Korea.
"(The company) has injected supplies other than Japanese imports in certain manufacturing processes," the Samsung official said, while speaking on condition of anonymity.
Another informed source said the company began using local supplies of etching gas.
The move comes nearly two months after Tokyo began implementing tougher restrictions on South Korea-bound shipments of three key materials -- resist, etching gas and fluorinated polyimide -- that are critical to the production of semiconductors and display panels, both key export items for South Korea that together account for more than one quarter of its overall outbound shipments.
Japanese imports are said to account for more than 90 percent of total supplies here for some of the three key materials.
Samsung, as well as its local rival SK hynix, began testing local supplies for their quality shortly after Japan announced its export curbs at the start of July, and market watchers earlier expected the tests to take up to six months.
Local industry leader LG Display earlier began using locally produced etching gas to produce display panels. (Yonhap)