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War: Chinese semiconductor business is feeling good
  • Although some of its key semiconductor industry players were put on the Entity List by the US government since 2019, China managed to register double-digit growth in the revenues of all of its semiconductor sub-sectors in 2020, pushing up global market shares to challenge Taiwan and the US, according to several recent reports.

    If the robust growth continues, China's semiconductor industry will grow rapidly in the next decade and by 2030 will become a world champion in semiconductor manufacturing, seizing a 24% global market share, as previously predicted by the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).

    According to an SIA blog, the semiconductor industry in China grew 30.6% in 2020 to reach $39.8 billion in total sales, representing robust annual growth of 36%, 23%, 32%, and 23% for the fabless, IDM, foundry, and OSAT sectors, respectively.

    China registered 9% of the global semiconductor market share in 2020, surpassing that of Taiwan for the second year in a row. It is likely to overtake Japan and Europe soon, as the global market shares of the semiconductor industry in the two major economies both stood at 10%.

    China's fabless semiconductor sub-segment ranked third after the US and Taiwan, taking 16% of the global market share, up from 10% in 2015, even though it was subject to tightened chip export control restrictions.

    In terms of wafer capacity increase, China accounted for 26% of the worldwide total, according to IC Insights and SIA, while its top 3 outsourced semiconductor assembly and testing (OSAT) companies collectively garnered more than 35% of the global market share.

    China has already announced US$26 billion in new planned funding for 28 additional fab construction projects in 2021, mostly focusing on mature processing nodes.