SOURCE / GT VOICE
GT Voice: China’s pursuit of chip independence won’t be distracted by external voices
Published: May 24, 2021 08:43 PM
Workers make chips at Anhui Dongke Semiconductor Co in East China's Anhui Province on Saturday. The company is located in the Anhui Ma'anshan Economic and Technological Development Zone, and it is mainly engaged in the design, production and sales of green power chips. Photo: VCG

Workers make chips at Anhui Dongke Semiconductor Co in East China's Anhui Province on Saturday. The company is located in the Anhui Ma'anshan Economic and Technological Development Zone, and it is mainly engaged in the design, production and sales of green power chips. Photo: VCG

With the increasingly fierce competition in the global semiconductor industry, there are undoubtedly some obstacles facing China in developing its own self-reliant chip-making production capacity. At the same time, skepticism and pessimism are on the rise regarding China's domestic semiconductor industry, but such external factors won't sway the country's determination in gaining core technologies crucial for its long-term development.

The Chinese version of Voice of America on Monday published an article titled "Flooding investment from US and South Korea may submerge China's self-reliant chip road," saying that as the COVID-19 pandemic underscores the strategic significance of the industrial chain for chips, the US, South Korea, and other countries have successively announced plans to invest hundreds of billions of dollars in this area, resulting in a narrowing path for China to develop its own chip-making industry amid the fierce global competition.

Against the backdrop of South Korean President Moon Jae-in's visit to the US last week, competition and cooperation between the two countries in terms of semiconductor manufacturing has drawn widespread attention. The Biden administration has been seeking tens of billions in funding to help American semiconductor manufacturing, while the South Korean government unveiled this month ambitious plans to spend about $450 billion to build the world's biggest chip-making base by 2030.

Moreover, the EU also plans to double its chip manufacturing production to 20 percent of the global market over the next decade by offering generous funding earmarked for tech investment.

In this context, China's semiconductor industry will undoubtedly face greater challenges, especially when the US is pushing for a tech decouple between its allies and China.

But there is no need to be overly pessimistic about the prospects of China's chip industry. From the development experience of other high-tech industries in China, such as aviation, although the overall technological strength of the domestic semiconductor industrial chain lags behind that of developed countries, China is able to overcome all difficulty if it resolves to do so.

China is the largest chip market in the world, and in addition to the technology reason, another major reason why its domestic manufacturing capacity cannot meet its demand is that the Chinese market used to have faith in globalized supply chain, which offers cheaper chips than domestically produced ones. US sanctions on Huawei, ZTE and other Chinese high-tech companies have shown that the world's supply chain is vulnerable to geopolitical conflict.

A consensus has been formed on the future path of China's semiconductor industry at the individual, corporate and macro levels, that is, focusing resources on accelerating the development of domestically produced chip products.

Of course, the process will be tough, with all kinds of problems that are extremely complicated and are hard to address over the short term.

However, as long as China has made up its mind, it will not relax its pace, and the policy of strengthening China's chip-making industry will not change. Because only through forward development can China and its industries break the ceiling of industrial development constraints to meet their own needs.


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