China wants chip self-sufficiency

So far, China has to import semiconductors for 350 billion dollars a year. In order to become more independent, the state is now building factories on a large scale. The nation also owes the wake-up call to Donald Trump.

Chip production in Jiangsu Province, China

Dhe hero of the day cannot be found at the world’s largest semiconductor fair. The “Semicon” in the futuristic Shanghai district of Pudong has 4,000 stands. But SMIC, the country’s most important chip producer and a symbol of the hope that China can free itself from its dependence on foreign technology, is not there. But even Apple never presented itself at the CES consumer electronics fair in Las Vegas. In the eyes of the Chinese government, the Shanghai manufacturer SMIC, the Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation, is even more important for the rise or fall of their country than the iPhone manufacturer for the technological supremacy of America.

The People’s Republic is threatened with an “unprecedented shortage of chips”, the speakers warned at the start of the fair. The amount of semiconductors that would be needed in the second largest economy in the world for the production of smartphones, entertainment electronics, electric cars and applications with artificial intelligence in three years, the country could only cover a fifth from its own production, said Wu Hanming of the Zhejiang University. For Beijing, this is a horror idea, since the United States had partially cut off its rival from semiconductors during the trade war, thus exposing China’s vulnerability.