China's Jan semiconductor sales growth outpaces global level, as self-sufficiency improves amid US clampdown
Published: Mar 05, 2024 10:17 PM
chip Photo:VCG

chip Photo:VCG

China's semiconductor sales grew 26.6 percent year-on-year in January, faster than the rates in the US or the world, according to an industry report on Monday, showing that the clampdown by the US on China's technology industry including semiconductors has failed, experts said.

The US-based Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) said that global semiconductor industry sales totaled $47.6 billion during January, up 15.2 percent year-on-year.

Sales rose 26.6 percent in China, 20.3 percent in the Americas and 12.8 percent in the Asia-Pacific, but fell 6.4 percent in Japan and 1.4 percent in Europe, according to the SIA.

The fact that China's semiconductor sales growth outpaced the global average despite US restrictions on chip exports and investment showed that Washington's clampdown on China's chip industry has not achieved its intended goals, experts said. The growth also reflected China's increasing capacity in chip manufacturing and its accelerated pace in achieving self-reliance, they said.

The SIA data showed that the technological blockage by the US against China backfired, by fueling China's drive for independent research and development in the chip industry, and ramping up related investment, Ma Jihua, a veteran telecom expert, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

US’ escalating crackdown on China’s chip industry in the past year. Editor: Zhang Mingyue/GT Graphic: Xu Zihe/GT

US’ escalating crackdown on China’s chip industry in the past year. Editor: Zhang Mingyue/GT Graphic: Xu Zihe/GT

Ma said that China's chip manufacturing capabilities have seen a significant improvement, with storage chips surpassing imported ones, mobile chips becoming partially localized, and advances being made in artificial intelligence (AI) chip research.

Moreover, China has a large demand for chips in internet-connected vehicles, making it a fast-growing track, Ma added.

As a result, China's chip self-sufficiency rate is rapidly increasing, experts noted.

Self-sufficiency in chip production has surged from around 5 percent in 2018 to 17 percent in 2022, and is expected to have hit 30 percent in 2023, Xiang Ligang, director-general of the Beijing-based Information Consumption Alliance, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

"With strong manufacturing capabilities and a vast domestic market, the country's chip supply is poised for a significant growth, which plays an important role in enhancing the nation's technology security," Xiang noted.

China's semiconductor industry is on the fast track of development. China's total output of integrated circuits (ICs) in 2023 increased 6.9 percent from a year earlier to 351.4 billion pieces, according to data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

China imported 479.5 billion ICs in 2023, down 10.8 percent compared with 2022. The import value dropped 15.4 percent to $349.4 billion, according to the General Administration of Customs.

Fiscal expenditure on science and technology development has increased by 6.4 percent annually over the past six years, according to the Ministry of Finance.

From 2018 to 2023, sci-tech expenditure rose from 832.7 billion yuan ($117.2 billion) to nearly 1.06 trillion yuan, the ministry said.

China will boost its self-reliance and strength in science and technology, according to the Government Work Report submitted on Tuesday to the national legislature for deliberation.

China will launch an AI Plus initiative and step up research on disruptive and frontier technologies, read the report.

Efforts will be made to invigorate China through science and education and consolidate the foundations for high-quality development. The country will enhance its capacity for original innovation and cultivate more first-class scientists and innovation teams, according to the report.

China will issue ultra-long special-purpose treasury bonds annually over the next several years for the purpose of implementing major national strategies and building up security capacity in key areas, starting with 1 trillion yuan of such bonds this year, according to the report.

"The Government Work Report clearly demonstrates a strong determination toward scientific and technological innovation. There is a concrete allocation of funds and talent development, which is very comprehensive," Ma said.