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Can China Become the World Leader in Semiconductors? China’
时间:2020-09-29 09:10来源:未知 作者:admin 点击:
In this article, the authors discuss the current state of the Chinese semiconductor industry, especially in the wake of recent US sanctions on Chinese technology companies like Huawei and SMIC. They take note of China's industrial policy to drive its development and self-sufficiency in semiconductors, particularly through the Made in China 2025 program, in recent years., as well its $150 billion investment in the semiconductor industry by this year. However, the article acknowledges the challenges and setbacks that the indigenous Chinese semiconductor industry still faces, from a general technology lab compared to leading industry foundries, lack of skilled talent and leading equipment such as EUV lithography machines, and general restrictions faced by Chinese technology leaders such as Huawei in accessing leading-edge semiconductor in the face of US sanctions and restrictions. Despite these challenges, the authors argue that analysts and policymakers in the West should not consider China’s semiconductor catch-up efforts as permanently derailed, as China will continue to pursue a multitude of development pathways to achieve parity with the leaders semiconductor industry.

In my own opinion, the view shared in this article is correct. While China no doubt faces considerable challenges in the development of its own semiconductor industry, especially in the face of new US restrictions on its leading foundry, SMIC, the central government will not be willing to give in on this front, and will relentless pursue new strategies to continue development of the country's own semiconductor industry. It may take a while for China's semiconductor industry to achieve parity and self-sufficiency with advanced foundries like TSMC and other equipment leaders like Dutch ASML, but analysts, policymakers, and industry leaders definitely should not dismiss or discount China's efforts at catch-up until its too late.
 
At an idle construction site in western Wuhan, China’s steep climb to semiconductor independence is clear for all to see. The partially-built factory, owned by Wuhan Hongxin Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (HSMC), was meant to be a key part of a US$20 billion investment that turned the province into a chip manufacturing hub. But two years after it was started, construction has ground to a halt, with little evidence of progress beyond a few cranes, workers’ dormitories and steel frames jutting into the air. The project, which the local Dongxihu district government said in July had stalled due to underfunding, is the latest example of a Chinese chip factory hitting the rocks because of poor planning or funding shortfalls.

Earlier this year, a US$100 million manufacturing plant set up by US chip giant GlobalFoundries and the Chengdu city government ceased operations after remaining idle for almost two years. In the country’s east, a US$3 billion government-backed chip plant owned by Tacoma Nanjing Semiconductor Technology went bankrupt in July after failing to attract investors.

Increasingly cut off from American semiconductors due to an intensifying tech war, China is redoubling efforts to develop its indigenous chip manufacturing industry and shake off dependence on Western technology. In late July, Beijing introduced a 10-year corporate tax break to established companies that could produce chips of 28 nanometres or smaller. It also expanded tax incentives for the entire semiconductor supply chain, from design to packaging. Yet, China’s efforts to reduce gaps in its supply of key technologies and components have largely failed to take off.
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