According to data released by SEMI, the purchase amount of semiconductor manufacturing equipment in mainland China in the first quarter was 5.96 billion US dollars, a year-on-year increase of 70%, second only to South Korea’s 7.31 billion US dollars. As the shortage of cores continues to intensify competition in the global semiconductor industry, China’s procurement of equipment is gradually increasing.
BusinessKorea pointed out that Chinese companies are aggressively buying semiconductor manufacturing equipment around the world.
U.S. sanctions against Chinese companies cannot curb China’s determination to develop the semiconductor industry. Even if China cannot produce cutting-edge semiconductors, it is trying to gain priority in areas such as automotive semiconductors, where supply shortages are growing.
Korean media pointed out that Chinese semiconductor companies are currently purchasing equipment needed for chip production lines in advance. An industry source said, “Chinese semiconductor companies have purchased five to six additional equipment in addition to the equipment they really need.” Another source said that “some companies have doubled their orders.”
In the first quarter of this year, China became the largest buyer of semiconductor manufacturing equipment in the U.S. and Japan, respectively. 32% of Lam Research’s first-quarter sales came from Chinese companies. Although the figure includes sales by non-Chinese companies such as Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix’s factories in China, industry experts believe that equipment purchases by local Chinese companies are also soaring. It is reported that in order to minimize the impact of U.S. sanctions, SMIC also specifically contacted South Korean semiconductor equipment manufacturers.
Chip manufacturing has higher requirements for front-end equipment, but 60% to 70% of this market is dominated by American and Japanese companies. On another level, the US ban is also generating demand for domestic equipment.
In addition, Chinese companies are snapping up semiconductor equipment, and chipmakers such as Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix are continuing to pay attention. Two South Korean companies are planning to expand production and build new fabs, and ensuring sufficient semiconductor manufacturing equipment will be key.