Tsinghua Unigroup’s planned $23 billion bid to purchase Micron Technology, made public last week, hasn’t been confirmed by either party. But the idea of Micron being taken over by a Chinese company has already raised so much concern on Capitol Hill, including from John McCain, that Micron executives are privately warning off their potential suitor.
What is this little-celebrated national asset?
While Micron may not be a well-recognized name in an industry now dominated by Apple, Asian manufacturers, and app-based newbies like Uber, the Boise, Idaho company is one of America’s first, most successful tech startups. It is also one of the US’s last major manufacturers of dynamic random access memory chips, known as DRAM, after clinging to domestic chip-making as rivals folded and got bought out.
In many ways, the homegrown giant’s history mirrors the rise and fall in tech manufacturing in the United States. Micron’s modest origins and low-profile belie its global influence, and now even with a Tsinghau deal unlikely, Micron’s future looks uncertain.
To be fair, though, that’s just as true now of the company as it was when the firm began.