China wants to strengthen its ties with major foreign semiconductor manufacturers. It plans to create a special organization to facilitate collaboration between its national companies and industry giants, such as Intel or AMD.
The current shortage of semiconductors has agitated the world for several months, highlighting their ubiquity in a multitude of products. It also pushes the greatest powers to organize themselves and refine their strategy, which should continue to grow. Europe, which will soon introduce its Chips Act, estimates that the market should double by 2030 to reach 1,000 billion dollars. The sector has become a geopolitical issue and invites itself into the rivalry between the United States and China.
Beijing seeks to ensure its technological autonomy and the Nikkei Asia announces that the country plans to create a special organization. The latter will be responsible for facilitating collaboration between national companies and large foreign groups in the semiconductor sector. This initiative should lead China to strengthen its national chip supply chains, with the aim of circumventing the sanctions that the United States has imposed on the country.
An ambitious program that could nevertheless cause concern among foreign governments. On paper, the organization seems to be thought of as a way to acquire advanced technologies from the United States, Japan or Europe. However, the latter will want to prevent sensitive technologies from being transferred to China. If the information from the Nikkei is confirmed, this “cross-border working committee on semiconductors” could see the light of day during the first half of the year.
China targets Intel, AMD and Dutch flagship ASML
To encourage foreign companies to set up in China, the committee would highlight the possibility of working with local governments and accessing financing. Chinese companies wishing to acquire foreign semiconductor-related companies could also benefit from financial support. The chip giant Intel and its competitor AMD, two American firms, would be among the targets of China. The German semiconductor group Infineon Technologies or the Dutch group ASML, an unknown European semiconductor giant, would also be concerned.
According to sources close to the file, some companies have already announced their intention to participate in this project. “For many semiconductor companies, China is one of the biggest growth markets in terms of sales, so they cannot ignore the wishes of the Chinese government”, assures an executive of a foreign company. AMD or Intel would make significant sales in the country.
On the Chinese side, major companies such as Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (one of the main Chinese producers of semiconductors), Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment and Xiaomi are said to be taking part in this initiative.
China has already tried to attract foreign manufacturers
In the past, China has already sought to establish partnerships with foreign manufacturers. The Tom’s Hardware site mentions in particular the case of Zhaoxin, a company run by the Chinese government and allied with the Taiwanese VIA Technologies to produce x86 processors “made in China”. We also remember that AMD had created a joint venture in China called Tianjin Haiguang Advanced Technology Investment (THATIC).