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An Unexpected Pinch: How Japan and South Korea’s Trade War Could Affect PC Owners

An Unexpected Pinch: How Japan and South Korea’s Trade War Could Affect PC Owners

Jul 20th 2019

With so much going on in the world today, it can be difficult to keep track of every event occurring in the tech and business sector. And when you throw international market regulations into the mix, even the most stalwart financial observers can end up tripping over themselves. But if you use a PC, a game console, or any other piece of tech developed in the Far East, a little-publicized trade dispute between Korea and Japan might be hitting you closer to home than you’d imagine—and sooner than you’d think. 

So what’s going on, and how is it going to end up making a difference toward your bank account? We’ll explain this complex market crisis in plain language so you can stay informed and be prepared. 

A Powerful Memory 

Sometimes it can be hard to remember that all of our modern digital conveniences have to be produced in a physical world. Memory chips, for example, require special chemicals to work properly, and the distribution of those chemicals can be a complex thing. 

A trade dispute regarding permissions for exports is currently straining the market relationship between Japan and South Korea. Japan’s exports now need to pass through stricter controls in order to be sold and marketed in the Korean peninsula, which might mean a significant delay in the availability of materials that are usually ready at a snappier pace. And some of those materials happen to be the chemicals needed to make memory chips work properly. 

So what does this have to do with you? Well, up to 70% of memory chips are made in Korea, and this trade dispute could result in permissions for the chemical exports these chips need to function taking 3 months to be able to make it out of Japan. This wouldn’t be such a big deal, except that Korean manufacturers typically only have a 1 or 2 month backlog of these chemicals on hand and ready for use. This means the chips are going to take longer to come out than they usually do, and what that means is a shortage, so you should be prepared for this trade dispute to cause an uptick in prices across many areas of tech. 

But why would this affect all of the tech sector? Keep in mind that “memory chip” is a term that applies to DRAM products used in a wide array of everyday devices, from your phone to your television. If the projections prove to be accurate, and a shortage is on the way, everywhere from Best Buy to the Apple store can expect to feel the price squeeze. 

How You Can Avoid the Pinch 

Man in suit using phone

So given that recent policies regarding Japan’s exports are causing a trade dispute that might make getting the latest tech a trickier proposition for you and your bank account, how can you protect your finances from this potential marketplace brouhaha? 

The most obvious step is to stock up on new technology before the crash comes. If there’s a laptop or a 4K TV you’ve been keeping your eye on and saving up for, today might be the day to take the plunge and go ahead and buy it. The odds are that the object of your tech affection isn’t going to decrease in price any time this year, because there’s no telling how long this trade dispute will last or how intense the consequences will be. So splurging and plunking down the cash now might actually end up saving you a bundle in the long run. 

Don’t be afraid to improve the technology you already have if your wallet can’t take the strain of an incoming crash. Keeping your drivers updated and your hard drive clean of viruses and digital detritus will help both your phone and your computer be able to thrive through any trade war, no matter what the market ends up making of Japan’s export policies. You don’t need to let a trade dispute force your hand into spending more money than you have when all you might need is a tiny amount of technical know-how, and a little free time to make sure your devices are running the latest and most efficient programs. 

Stick with EWC Technologies 

Close-up of microchip circuitry

What do you think of the current conflict that’s causing confusion in the tech sector? Leave us a comment with any questions, insights, or opinions you might have about this troublesome trade dispute. Our blog is constantly updated with all the latest news and views on NUC technology and beyond, so stay informed, get involved, and join our community! We’re always happy to hear from our readers and clients. 

Speaking of things that make people happy, who doesn’t like cutting-edge technology? Visit our contact page and get in touch with us to learn how you or your place of business can experience a free demo of our NUCs with zero obligation to purchase. The world of Japanese exports might be in a sticky spot right now, but there’s no trade dispute when it comes to our prices, so explore EWC Technologies today and get your hands on the strongest and smallest computer technology you can find.

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