Japan’s Elpida Gets Emergency Government Aid

TOKYO (AP) -- Japanese chip maker Elpida Memory Inc. said Tuesday it will receive 30 billion yen ($313 million) in government emergency aid, set up to help struggling companies ride out the global slump.

Elpida, the only Japanese maker of DRAM, or dynamic random access memory, chips, is the first recipient of the public money being provided under the new government program.

The funding will come from the government-owned Development Bank of Japan, which is also giving an additional 10 billion yen in loans to Elpida, it said.

The chips are used in mobile phones and personal computers, and the business has been hard hit by the global slowdown.

Tokyo-based Elpida, a joint venture between Japanese electronics companies NEC Corp. and Hitachi Ltd., has been struggling to close the gap with rival Samsung Electronics Co. of South Korea.

The emergency program is part of Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso's new economic stimulus package for helping troubled companies seen as strategically important for Japan.

Elpida's woes could potentially hurt the overall economy because Japanese manufacturers count on the company for its chips. Under the program, Elpida will likely be required to come up with a recovery plan.

"Elpida has been in a tough situation," said Economy Minister Toshihiro Nikai. "We see helping Elpida as crucial for the livelihood of our nation's people."

More in Industry 4.0