Prices of mobile phone memory chips have been skyrocketing for the last 6 quarters and Chinese regulators are considering action. After complaints from local smartphone manufacturers, China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has decided to have a word with Samsung, the largest storage chip manufacturer in the world.

However, whether an antitrust review will be initiated remains to be seen, according to a report from 21Jingji (in Chinese). NDRC’s last high-profile case included Qualcomm. The anti-trust probe against the chipmaker giant was concluded with a settlement in 2015.

Storage has become the single most expensive item in phone manufacturing, higher than screens or CPU, the report states. The prices of storage chips have exploded by 300% within one year. The price began rising in Q3 2016 because of supply shortage which set off a chain reaction with mobile phones, hard disks and other products increasing in price. All of this has caused concerns among manufacturers.

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Masha Borak

Masha Borak is a technology reporter based in Beijing. Write to her at masha.borak [at] technode.com. Pitches with the word "disruptive" will be ignored. Read a good book - learn some more adjectives.